A few days ago, I wrote about my evacuation bag and what supplies I had in it in case the kids and I had to bail quickly in an emergency and weren’t sure whether we’d have shelter, food, or sanitary conditions. Now I’m going to discuss what we have in our safe room–aka our shelter-in-place room.
Sometimes the safest thing is to stay in your house. This could be because of a natural disaster, civil unrest, or an outright war. If you’re stuck in your home, but with use of all utilities and all rooms, nothing much will be different except perhaps some cabin fever. But what if your utilities were cut off or were unsafe to use? Would you have access to safe drinking water? Food that didn’t need to be cooked? A way to flush the toilet? A way to stay warm in cold weather?
Now what if circumstances meant you had to stay in one room of your house? Perhaps the basement during a tornado warning? Or an interior room during civil unrest? Would you have supplies you’d need to last 12 hours? A day? Three days?
Our master bedroom in Delhi was our safe room because it had our radio, an attached bath, our emergency supplies, and some extra safety features. Our closets had a high storage area that was inconvenient to reach (I had to stand on a chair or the nightstand to get into it) where I stored our emergency shelter-in-place supplies. We kept our safe in this room, so we’d have quick access to any important documents and money in case our sheltering turned into an evacuation.
Supplies might include:
3 days worth of water for each person, plus extra for flushing the toilet if room has a bathroom (pour really fast into the bowl and it should flush. Only flush solids.)
3 days worth of canned and packaged food that had a long shelf life per person. I went for pop-top cans, but if you don’t, make sure to include a can opener. Our items included: peanut butter, crackers, hearty canned soup (to be eaten cold), tuna packages, canned fruit, applesauce cups, granola bars, and a bag of candy.
silverware for eating the above food, 1 set per person, and plates/bowls if needed
roll of papertowels
prescription medicine, if not already stored in your safe room (again, why our master bedroom was a good choice-it was already there)
blankets in case you lose heat
battery operated fan if your home is hot (remember, you could lose electricity and opening windows would not be wise most likely)
Your evacuation bag and all it contains (including OTC medicine, wound treatment, basic toiletries, flashlight, headlamp, etc)
If your spot doesn’t have a bathroom, include a bucket and bags to make a toilet.
If you’re not in the master bedroom, include a change of clothes per person
If you have kids, consider:
a couple toys (if time, grab the current favorites on the way to this room)
diapers and wipes if applicable
change of clothes for the kid(s)
specialized baby or toddler food, plus utensils for eating it
any kid medicine necessary
If you have pets, consider:
pet food, plus something to serve it with and in
leash or pet carrier if evacuation is needed
litter box, or plan on grabbing it as you head to the safe room, or a way/spot for a dog to relieve himself
any pet medicine necessary