One of the things that you can do to ensure your, your family’s, and your possession’s safety during a catastrophe is to build a survival bunker. This bunker can be used as secure shelter in the event of anything from a tornado to an air strike. More common crises, like local chemical leaks and ice storms, can necessitate the use of a bunker more often than you’d think. There are many resources available for bunker blueprints and even services to build custom bunkers to your specifications. After building your bunker, there are some essential items that you need to keep on hand.
This is one of the first things that you should stock your bunker with. You can build shelves to keep the food on, or you can get a cabinet to place on the wall. Keep track of how old the food is because you want to use the older items before anything that is newly purchased. Examples of foods that are good to keep on hand include crackers, canned foods and foods that are in boxes that don’t need to be cooked.
The minimum amount of water you’ll want to keep stocked is three gallons of water per person. This should last for about three days. Bottled water is good to keep for drinking, but try to keep the gallon sizes for washing hands or faces. Buying bulk bottled water is best—a large pack is less expensive than purchasing several individual bottles and comes packed tightly, so it will take up less space in your bunker.
If you need to use your bunker, then there is a high probability that the power is out or that it will go out soon. Keep a supply of batteries on hand, and test them often to be sure they are still charged. Stock your bunker with items that can be used with batteries like flashlights, cordless radios and portable televisions. It is important to have a way to access the news so that you know what is going on in the area, so keep these electronics and any batteries they require on hand.
If you have weapons, essential documents or valuables which you’d like to keep secure, especially during a catastrophe, you should equip your bunker with a vault. When you need to head to the bunker, try to get as many important documents as you can, including social security cards, credit cards and money. These can be stored in the vault so that they aren’t ruined or stolen if any looting occurs during a catastrophe. Ted Barnes, a Mission Viejo vaults and safes specialist, advises bunker builders to opt for a built-in vault, ideally placed in the floor of the bunker, for maximum concealment and security.
You need to keep clothing in the bunker for all seasons. In addition to everyday wear, keep a coat for each person, along with gloves, socks and shoes. You may not be able to wash clothes if trying to conserve your water supply, so you’ll need to have a few outfits for each person. Diapers should be included in clothing if you have a baby or toddler.
A bunker can provide the safety needed to outlast a catastrophe, but you need to make sure it is well and securely stocked. Store enough supplies for each person, and check your stores regularly to make sure everything is intact and operational.
Emma is a freelance writer from Boston. Her interests include urban survival training and Urbex. In her free time, she enjoys baking, film noir, and indoor rock climbing.