13 Jan 10 Things You Should Have in Your Tornado Shelter NOW
It’s a new year, and everyone is thinking about how to have the best one ever! But while you’re making plans, don’t forget to plan for Oklahoma Spring Weather! Two great tips:
If you don’t have a storm shelter, start planning now to have one installed before Tornado Season arrives!
If you do have a shelter, get it stocked with all the right things!
For our top 10 things to keep in your shelter, here are 5 things you absolutely must have, and 5 more that will make it much more bearable!
1. Basic, No-prep Food & Water
Non-perishables like vacuum-packed or canned meat that doesn’t need preparation, snack crackers (you’ll need to refresh these occasionally,) baby food and formula if needed, and a jar of peanut butter. You can survive for days if necessary on these things and they keep for a long time. Make sure you have plastic ware also. And don’t forget plenty of bottled water. Not only is hydration necessary for survival, but also for calmness and clarity of mind, which becomes exponentially more important during an emergency.
2. “Lumberjack” Clothes
When you exit your shelter, there’s a good chance you’ll encounter quite a mess, so have rugged jeans, boots, thick socks, and a coat. Even if your tornado happens in warm weather, it will likely be followed by cooler air, so be prepared.
3. Medications & First Aid Kit
Any medication you take on a regular basis should be kept in your shelter as well. Make sure you refresh this “stash” regularly as well since expired medication can be ineffective or even dangerous. It’s also a good idea to keep a first aid kit and some basic OTC drugs like painkillers or cold meds.
4. Batteries & Cell Phone Chargers
Keeping your phones charged during the aftermath of a storm may be a real challenge, so have a battery-powered charger in your shelter and extra batteries. Also keep a good flashlight and extra batteries for that as well. You need to let people know you’re ok, post updates and communicate with family and rescue personnel, so make sure you’re not left without power.
5. Copies of All Your Important Papers
Insurance, identification, banking information, vehicle information, and a list of phone numbers (in case your phone dies) are some examples of paperwork you may need after a disastrous storm. You may find yourself having to start over after a tornado, so these things may make it much easier.
Ok, now that you have your “must-haves,” here are 5 more things gathered from storm survivors and shelter owners that will make your “stay” in your shelter a lot more bearable.
6. Battery-powered Fans
One of my personal favorites! Shelters can get stuffy, and the moving air can make the experience much more pleasant.
Survivors say that hard or long-lasting candy is a great help for the “cabin fever” that sets in after a few hours cooped up in your shelter. Again, make sure this stuff stays fresh.
8. Games & Entertainment
One mom stashes a few DVDs in the shelter for here kids to watch on her laptop. A deck of cards or board games were suggestions of other shelter owners.
9. Wind-up Gadgets
Flashlights, lanterns, radios, and even cell-phone chargers are now available with wind-up power. Great idea, especially if you’re stuck for a while!
10. A Bucket
If you’ve ever had to spend time in your shelter, you know what this is for. A 5-gallon bucket (with a lid!) filled half-way with kitty litter. Yes, this is your toilet.