In this life you need to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. That’s what having a storm shelter is about, you never want to use it but in case of emergency you’ll be glad you have it. Simply having one on your property is fine for protecting yourself and your family from a storm, but what will you do if that storm lasts for an extended period of time?
Keeping yourself safe from the dangers of this world can take different forms. Surviving a disaster is your first order of duty but then you have to protect yourself from the aftermath. For that you need to properly stock your storm shelter so that you can stay safe, secure and healthy for hours, days and even weeks following a disaster.
It’s up to you to decide how prepared you want to be. In this article we’ll look at what you should have stored in your storm shelter or safe room for both the short and long term, so that you can make the most of any shelter or budget.
Short Term Items
Food and water are two of the most basic human needs and one of the first things you need to get for your shelter. Remember that the food needs to be non-perishable, so that you can store it for months or even years without fear of it going bad. Dry foods, canned goods and bottles of water are all basic staples. Just keep in mind that you want to be careful to store everything properly so they won’t fall and injure anyone.
You want to stay warm and that could mean keeping an extra set of clothes, towels and blankets in your shelter. This is especially important if your shelter entrance is located outside of your home, since you may have to travel through bad weather to get to your shelter and you don’t want to spend all night locked up in a small room while you’re wet and cold.
No one wants to be stuck in the dark so pack lights and batteries to keep them powered. Even if you have your shelter wired up for regular lights you can’t count on the power staying on. Lamps are good for lighting the shelter while flashlights will prepare you for leaving if you have to. On the topic of batteries, be careful when storing them because they can corrode with time and begin to leak acid so store with this in mind.
Medication is another essential. While you want to get out of danger as soon as possible there’s a chance you may get injured on your way to your shelter. If that happens you don’t want to be stuck waiting for a storm to pass to get your bandages and disinfectant, so make sure your shelter is always equipped with a well stocked first aid kit.
On the topic of medication, it’s important that you have your shelter stocked according to the unique needs of you and your family. Guides like these are aimed at the general population, male, female, old and young. But if you have a baby in the family then you definitely need to store things like formula, diapers and more. Similarly if you have any unique health concerns then you need to stock up on anything that may be needed in an emergency.
When people are in a rush to get to their shelter they can and do forget everything. Take the time to consider everything you absolutely need to survive the night in a worst case scenario and stock up on everything you can that fits that description.
Long Term Thinking
If you pack just the essentials you’ll likely have everything you need to deal with the average emergency. But what about events that are out of the ordinary? What if you have to go underground for longer than a day, with supplies becoming scarce after you do come up? These scenarios are certainly uncommon but if you want total protection then you should consider packing more than you think you’ll likely need.
For long term planning the main concern is having enough supplies. You want to have enough food and fresh water stored for an extended period. Just how much food you decide to buy depends on how prepared you want to be and how much storage room you have. If your shelter only has enough room for your family then you probably won’t have space for weeks worth of food and water.
Another important long term consideration is all of your important documents. If you live in an area where hurricanes and tornadoes are a real risk then you never know when everything may be swept away. By keeping copies of documents like passports, family records, wills and more in your shelter then you can save yourself the trouble of replacing them later if a storm destroys the copies in your home.
If you haven’t chosen a shelter yet you should take time to consider what sort of emergencies you want to be prepared for. Small structures are fine for a few hours but if you want to be ready for long term emergencies then you need to purchase a larger shelter, with room for your family and your supplies. At Huntsville Storm shelters: Rhodes Construction we have standard sizes and custom sizes for all your needs.
Gathering Everything You Need
Ultimately only you can decide how much you want to store in case of emergencies. Anything is better than nothing so if you don’t have much money or if you aren’t worried about bigger disasters in your area then just getting the bare minimum is likely to work. But if you are troubled by worries of larger dangers then it’s well worth investing in a well stocked shelter that you can rely on for even long term dangers.
It’s also important to regularly check your storm shelter’s inventory. You don’t want to just assume that you have everything you need. Some things will expire and you never know if someone in your family might grab something from your shelter and forget to replace it. Taking time every few months to make sure everything is in order will ensure that you don’t face any nasty surprises when you go down into your shelter during an emergency.
Hopefully you now have an idea of the basics every shelter needs. Just having a backpack full of goods can mean the difference between a night spent safely and mortal danger, so think carefully about what you need to feel as safe as possible.
All Rhodes Construction Safe Rooms are 1/4 inch Steel. They Meet and exceed FEMA 320/361 and ICC-500 guidelines. Call (256) 464-3736 or come in to see our line up of storm shelters