Our primary protection against the elements is our clothing. A jacket with many pockets will be very convenient to keep important items that we do not want to lose or get stolen. If the pockets are hidden inside the jacket or have buttons and zippers, our important items will be less accessible. It would be ideal if the jacket has a hood. If we do not have an umbrella, our hoods will provide some protection against precipitation. About 700 people die of hypothermia every year. We will want to have some winter gear because in North America, we have all four seasons and you never know how long you'll be on the road looking for a settlement. When it comes to actual shelter, while traveling to the settlement, there will be plenty of buildings and abandoned homes to rest in. Before settling into the homes, we must be sure that they're free of ferals and other settlers. If it is already occupied by others, the best thing to do would be to go elsewhere to avoid any sort of confrontation.
We will be working on re-building our community and looking at settling into homes permanently. The ideal permanent homes are those with very little to no damage to their structure. The first thing on the list will be the disposal of any human, animal, or feral corpses that may be inside the homes we choose. We will also make sure that the structures are free of any hazardous gas leaks or insect and/or fungus infestations.
Electricity will be a complicated issue. Initially, we will be using alternative sources of energy such as generators that we can salvage from other homes, home supply stores, etc. We will generate heat by lighting up some wood in the fireplace.
Plumbing will most likely no longer be functioning. Therefore, we must do our business the old-fashioned way: via outhouse. Building your own outhouse is actually not as complicated as you might think. Assuming that we do not want our homes to smell unbearingly foul, we can start off by digging a deep hole in the backyard. Then, we can install a lining for the hole and build a shed around our new toilet for privacy. Bathing might not be a frequent activity at this point due to lack of clean, running water (water filtration facctories will be shut down due to issues with electricity.) Clean drinking water may also be limited due to this issue. There are a few simple ways for us survivors to filtre our own water. This can be done using simple items such as funnels, dirt, and coffee filtres or filtre paper. Wells are also a promising source of clean water. Denizens will dig and set up wells all around our new community so that everyone has access to clean water. We can also collect rainwater and use that to irrigate our plants/food gardens. People who are in charge of retrieving items will be told to bring back items that can be used for beds and other furniture. If not, we will need to build furniture frames out of wood and search for materials that we can use as mattresses, pillows, etc. People will most likely want to furnish their homes with curtains, picture frames, rugs and other cozy things as it will bring them a sense of comfort with the memory of the old World. Everyone must also contribute to the tidying of the entire general area if they plan to be part of the community. Eventually, we are hoping to do the same for any nearby gyms, schools, workplaces, etc.
At this point in time, we have a chance to avoid using fossil fuels for energy and move on to renewable energy. Solar energy will be the most ideal source of power. Houses will be situated to be able to soak up as much sunlight as possible. People will want homes that allow them to feel secure, especially after the trauma of the feral outbreak. Therefore, homes will be built using concrete or any other strong material that can withstand invaders, in case another outbreak occurs. Each home will feature a second pair of windows made of steel that can act as an unaccessible shield which layers on top of the actual windows, when activated by the owner. Doors will also be constructed with steel. Some houses only have one entrance in the entire building to keep unwanted visitors (it could be ferals, robbers, killers, ex-wives) out of their home. Although these houses are lacking in emergency escapes (for fires and other disasters.) Denizens who wish to purchase or lease these types of home structures must sign a consent package. These concrete houses are also gated by aluminum fences for security. Although our homes of the future may seem strict and paranoid, it is actually the opposite. People have acquired personal privacy on their own property once more. There is less gossip regulating because there is less rose bush chit chat. Everyone is still recommended to have a food garden and use rainwater as irrigation. Farming helps the economy and the environment. Once plumbing is turned back on, we will resume indoor plumbing as it is slightly more sanitary. Although there will be clean drinking water at this point, denizens are still encouraged to retrieve water from our wells.