After last night’s even here in Oklahoma, I thought I would share an old (but good) post. Let me know what you keep in your shelter by leaving a comment below.
This year is our first storm season to have a shelter… ever. Two years ago, we got a scare and a tornado went right over our old neighborhood. My husband was gone with work so fortunately me and the kids were squeezed into a friends shelter. At that moment, we knew when we built our house that we HAD to put in a storm shelter.
Now, that we have a storm shelter, I have no idea what do to to prepare for a tornado, so I asked my friend (an experiences tornado shelter owner) to give us her top 5 things she brings into her shelter. Enjoy…
Do you have a storm shelter?
I love having a storm shelter. I love the security it provides should “that storm” head our way. I do not enjoy going in there. Believe me! I could tell you some stories!
However, I do try to make “our stay” in the shelter as
enjoyable bearable as possible. Here is a list of what we consider to be “must-have’s” in the shelter:
1. Important Papers
We own a fire safe box. It contains out most important papers: birth certificates, social security cards, last will and testament… We keep the fire safe box in our shelter. That way, there is no running around to make sure we have it.
2. Water and a bucket
We keep about 6 bottles of water in the shelter. Worst case scenario, I imagine us being stuck in their for a few days. We have enough water for everyone in the shelter (including the dog). We also make sure to clean out the shelter before storm season hits to make sure everything is still good (not past the expiration date).
Plus now I keep a bucket in there. Just in case someone has to go to the bathroom. I have heard that people actually put kitty litter in their bucket and I have thought about dong that.
3. Shelf Stable Food
We have “treats” or snacks in here that I know are well liked, but also serve dual purposes. We like to have peanut butter crackers, protein/granola bars, dried fruit and nuts. You don’t have to go crazy here, but make sure what you do have contains a decent amount of protein so you can all maintain some level of energy.
When we had babies, we would keep a few jars of baby food and shelf stable formula in the shelter. If you have a furry friend, don’t forget about storing some food for them, too. I
do like to keep some special treats, like suckers or other long lasting candy. Sometimes the kids (or grown-ups) will get restless, so it is nice to have a special little treat to bring out.
4. Change of clothing
Since we never know when a storm is going to hit, we keep a change of clothing for everyone in the shelter. This includes underwear, socks and tennis shoes.
If you have to head to the shelter in the middle of the night, you don’t want to worry about grabbing your stuff then. You also don’t want to come out of the shelter, should there be major devastation, with clothes and a sturdy pair of shoes.
We do not know how long we may have to be in the shelter, so we keep a couple of blankets so we can try to make ourselves a bit more comfortable, should we be stuck in there for any length of time. You can also throw in a pillow or two, if you think it would help.
No, our shelter is not big. It is in the ground in our garage and it can fit 6-8 people, snugly. We have an old wooden cabinet in the shelter under the wood plank stairs. It is out of the way, so it doesn’t take up any of our precious elbow room. We keep everything listed here in the cabinet.
I know it may sound like a lot, and the few times we have actually had to be in our shelter, we have barely touched any of it. However, I take solace in knowing it is all in there, should we need it.
What do you keep in your storm shelter?
Please share your families tips and tricks so we can all be a little more prepared this severe weather season.