If a disaster were to occur that would not require you to bug out, or if there were suddenly an intruder in your home who you were not in a position to confront, where would you and your family members go within your home?
The answer, if you’ve prepared for either of these scenarios, might be a safe room.
This does not necessarily need to be the room in which you keep most of your survival supplies. But it should be a room that is stocked with at least 72 hours’ worth of food, water and other essential items.
Size Matters Here
The room should be large enough to accommodate each of the people living in your home. And don’t forget about your pets. It should also be a room you can lock in order to keep someone from breaking in.
Make sure this room has no windows, which could present big problems if a tornado or other storm forced you into the room. Ideally your safe room would include a closet or other storage space, but at the very least you can build shelves on which to keep items you would need during an emergency without taking up too much valuable floor space.
Very few homes contain the perfect safe room, so you’re probably going to have to improvise. But having one room where everyone in the house knows to head immediately during an emergency or a break-in could save a life.
Pre-Stock It With Supplies
If you have bug-out bags prepared that are near your front door, grab them when you head to your safe room. Other items that should be stored in a safe room – in advance – are non-perishable food, drinking water, flashlights and batteries, clothing, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows and a first-aid kit.
Check in advance whether your cellphones operate within this room. If not, keep a landline phone in the room.
Your non-perishable sustenance should mainly be wholesome, nutritious food including vegetables and canned fruit. But stockpiling some comfort foods would also be advisable, especially if you anticipate having children or grandchildren in the room with you.
You’ll also want to include paper products including plates, bowls and cups, plus plastic utensils or silverware.
Don’t Forget Weapons
If you have to rush to this safe room, you might not have time to grab a weapon. That’s why this room should be stocked with a firearm and ammunition, obviously out of the reach of young children.
Regardless of whether an intruder has caused the emergency or if someone has decided to take advantage of the situation by entering your home, you don’t want to be caught defenseless there.
Keeping pets – especially dogs – in a safe room for any length of time will be a big challenge. But if you have animals you would take into the safe room with you in an emergency, stock the room with food, chew toys, litter and a litter box. This would also necessitate having a few air fresheners.
Some people believe they don’t need a safe room because they have a basement. But keeping a basement secure is usually more difficult than securing an individual room, and basements tend to be prone to flooding. In addition, most basements have windows near the ceiling, which can result in flying glass in certain weather disasters.
Consider the DIY Option
If you are a do-it-yourselfer and decide to physically build a safe room within your home, as opposed to utilizing an existing room, you might want to check into a couple of things.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, some communities offer incentives, including reduced property taxes, while some state and local governments will partially subsidize construction of those rooms.
Another option is paying someone to build that safe room within your home, which will probably cost you several thousands dollars.
Once you’ve established a safe room in your home, you may want to suggest that family members, friends and neighbors do the same thing in their homes. You could also recommend a safe room at your place of employment.
Whether it’s a residence or a business, you’d be able to provide sound advice, having already prepared such a room for yourself and immediate family.