Preparing A Shelter Room For During A Hurricane

Find the safest place in your home for a hurricane shelter and be prepared. Protect your family with this important information, it could save lives!

Preparing a room in your home as a shelter during a hurricane is not only important, it could be life saving. Along with

the extreme wind and rain of a hurricane, tornadoes are a frequent occurrence. Preparing your shelter at the beginning

of the hurricane season offers not only greater peace of mind, but greater safety for you and your family.


The best location of a hurricane shelter is the basement of your home. Unfortunately, most homes in the path of a

hurricane are located in areas with a high water table. The high water table does not allow for basements in most cases.

It is important to locate your shelter away from windows and doors; windows and doors may be at risk for flying

projectiles entering your home. For most homeowners without a basement, the next best place for a shelter during a

hurricane is a large walk-in type closet. For those without a walk-in closet, an interior bathroom without windows is the

next best location for a hurricane shelter. If closet space or bathroom space is too limited, an interior bedroom with the

least amount of windows is next on the list. These windows must have protection such as hurricane shutters or sturdy

plywood attached. Whatever location you choose for your shelter, just remember it needs to hold all the members of

your family, pets and emergency supplies.


The location of your hurricane shelter room should be in the interior of your home which is usually the most stable. As

they come in, most hurricanes spin off tornadoes. Storing extra blankets and pillows in your shelter room offers not only

comfort for your family, but the blankets and pillows can be used as protection. If your shelter room is a closet, the

clothes in the closet can also offer extra protection. If your shelter is a small bedroom, the mattress and boxsprings can

also offer protection from projectiles. Because of the frequent tornadoes with a hurricane, under no circumstances

should you ever stay in an RV or a mobile home. Evacuate immediately.


Stock your shelter room before a hurricane hits. Experts tell us to have a 3 day supply of food and water, but

experience tells us that power may be off for weeks. How many people will be in this shelter room? Does anyone have

special needs such as medication? If you have children, don't forget games and toys to keep them occupied. Will there

be pets with you? Do they need medication? If you have pets going into your shelter, don't forget they may need toys

as well. Prepare to be confined in your shelter for at least 12 hours. Don't forget that if confined to a small area for at

least 12 hours, you and your pets will need sanitation areas. Prepare ahead of time for your pets with disposable litter

boxes and for the humans, a chemical porta-potty. If you don't have the money or space for a porta-potty, a sturdy

plastic bucket with plenty of plastic bags and ties will help. Baby wipes and sanitizing wipes are great for wiping dirty

hands and sanitizing common areas. Garbage bags for disposing garbage is important as well. Sanitation in such close

quarters is important.


Canned food and can opener; vacuum sealed pre-cooked foods; water, water containers and disposable cups; plates

or food containers; silverware; kitchen utensils such as spoons, spatulas's and knives; easily disposable paper products

such as paper towels, toilet tissue and paper plates; flashlight; radio; candles and matches; kids snap florescent light

sticks; battery operated lights; pet supplies such as food and bowls, treats and toys, bedding and extra leash; first aid

supplies and any medications necessary; antibiotic cream, alcohol, peroxide or betadine as an antiseptic; aspirin and/or

ibuprofen; list of medications and pharmacies; list of doctors and medical conditions being treated; important insurance

information, policy numbers and insurance company contacts; important documents such as birth certificates, social

security cards, wills and precious photographs enclosed in plastic for waterproofing.


After the immediate danger of the hurricane and tornadoes has passed, your power may be out for weeks and you may

not be able to use the toilet. If you own a pool, a bucket of pool water will flush the toilet. If you do not own a pool, it

is suggested that you fill a 33 gallon trash can with water for flushing. In a separate area from your shelter, stock

supplies needed for just after the storm. These supplies should include a source for heating food and water, such as a

bbq grill or gelled liquid fuel. After a storm you must boil water as a precaution. Supplies needed after the storm may

also include 33 gallon garbage bags that can be used for storage, clean-up and as poncho's. Tarps may be necessary

to cover damage to guard against leaks. Hand tools for quick repairs should include hammers and nails, duct tape,

ropes, gloves, cleaning supplies, bleach, buckets, brooms and shovels.

If you prepare your hurricane shelter room before hurricane season hits, you will have only a few last minute items to

add at the last minute. Early preparations not only ease your mind but will keep you and your family safer during a

dangerous time.

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