Preparing your Storm Shelter

Hi everyone! This is Chelsea Greene, marketing manager at Foster Signature Homes!

When preparing for severe weather season in Oklahoma we need to make sure our emergency kits and storm shelters are ready! The following is a list of items we recommend to be in your Emergency Kit. Be sure to consider each family member’s individual needs; physical and/or emotional. 

So to begin this post I want to remind everyone that I did not grow up in Oklahoma. I have never been in a tornado and the closest I had come to a tornado was the movie Twister. So after I moved to Oklahoma I vowed that I would be prepared, I am not invincible even though my 16 year old self would disagree. So now that I live in a home with a storm shelter, in a city that has been demolished by a tornado MORE THAN ONCE, I am prepared! With the help of Evan (my boyfriend), storm shelter companies, the national weather service, and just the advice of people who have lived in Oklahoma their whole lives; I have put together a list (with commentary of course) of things that you need or might need in case of being stuck in your storm shelter for an extended period of time. 

To begin we need to remember that a storm shelter is basically a big box buried in the ground with a lid. This means that things from the ground will end up inside your shelter over the course of a year, because of this we need to remember to clean it out and inspect it every year. This can and will include sweeping and/or vacuuming and if your storm shelter is anything like ours it will have lots of dead bugs, dirt, leaves, etc that have gotten stuck over the past year. 

Sometimes there might even be living (or once living) creature, in that case, I don’t know what you do but I won’t have anything to do with that and that is a job for someone else! 

Anyway on to the list of things that are necessary and important when preparing the storm shelter. 

We will start with the most important things!

-    As much water as you can, cases of bottled water are nice but to reduce waste gallon jugs of water are ideal! 
-    72-hour supply of food! (we put granola bars, crackers, and other nonperishable items)
-    Can opener if applicable

Protection and Warmth
-    Windproof and water proof matches
-    Shelter/tent
-    Blanket or sleeping bag
-    Hand and body warming packets

-    Flashlights
-    Batteries
-    Headlamps (We have a magnetic motion sensor light!)

Tools/First Aid
-    Pocket knife/Pliers
-    Crow bar
-    Duct Tape
-    First aid kit

-    Weather radio
-    Whistle/noise maker

Personal Sanitation
-    bucket with lid (portable toilet)
-    toilet paper and/or wipes
-    Hand sanitizer
-    garbage bag
-    clean clothes

Important Papers
-    Copies of important documents (birth certificates, insurance forms, wills, marriage license etc.)
-    Some cash $20-40 should be plenty 

Stress relievers and additional items
-    Games, books, small toys for children
-    Pet food/water

This list is comprehensive and can seem over the top, but in an emergency you want to make sure you will have what you need to last for a few days. Disasters happen and we can never be too prepared. Another thing to make sure that you do is register your storm shelter, notify family and friends where you storm shelter is and how to get into it if they need to. 

Leave some comments on other things you have in your storm shelter than can be helpful!