We’ve explained many reasons to purchase a safe room, but haven’t talked a lot about what you should put inside of it. If there’s a crisis you’re trying to avoid there is always a time span you will be in the safe room for. This amount of time can very wildly depending on the circumstances. For instance, if there is a tornado threat with severe storms on the horizon you may be in your safe room for several days. In theory it’s best to have double what you think you will need in your safe room in regards to food and water, but there are a lot of other items that can be extremely integral to your safety and ability to weather the storm. Depending on the size of your safe room as well, you should consider larger stocks and multiple backups of these items.
Water – The recommended amount of water is high, and may take up a considerable amount of your space. However, you should have at least a gallon a day of water for each person, and from a source that you know is clean. Glass bottles are preferred, as over time plastic jugs may cause chemicals to leak into your water, contaminating it. If you are only preparing for around a week, plastic jugs should not be an issue.
Food – Obviously, a large amount of preserved food should be high on the list of necessary supplies. Freeze dried foods are used by astronauts, and have a high level of preservation inherently due to their lack of moisture and natural preservation methods. You should bring more food than you think is necessary, and then more food than that. If there is no set amount of time in a disaster, and not preparing can be a matter of life and death.
Radio – Something that is more necessary than most people would suspect is the radio. Using a radio is a great way to stay aware of your predicament and the state of emergency in your area. Due to the thickness of our safe rooms your cell signal may be insufficient or completely non-existent. Radio waves however, will be more capable of being received, due to the ground level transmitting of the signal.
NOAA Weather Radio – The NOAA weather radio tunes in to the NOAA’s stations are nationwide 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They broadcast all of the watches, warnings, and severe storm information that pertains to the United States. If regular radio stations are down than this is an excellent alternative for staying aware of all the changes and information involved. Without an update on the storm you will be staying in the safe room blind, with no real idea of when it’s safe to open the door and go outside.
Flashlight – You’ll need a flashlight in any case, whether you’ve run power to your safe room or not. If the power goes out and your in the dark your safe room can become a lot more claustrophobic than it needs to be. You may also want to bring a camping lantern that you can hang and provide light with whenever needed.
Batteries – With the addition of the radio and the flashlights, lanterns, you will need a ton of batteries to make sure you’re never without light. You’ll want to bring many more batteries than you would originally deem necessary, just like everything else on our first list. You may be without power for several days if the emergency backup goes off, which will prevent you from living comfortably without a life source.
First Aid Kit – You will need a first aid kit in case anything goes wrong on your way to the the safe room, if someone trips or gets cut you will need to clean the wound and make sure everyone’s medical needs are easily met. A cut can become extremely troublesome after being stuck in one area for several days without showering and clean clothes.
This list has the most essential beginner items at best. We will produce another list with more equipment, but in the realm of basic necessities this will mostly have you covered.