As experts in the design and installation of quality storm shelters, the team at Baker & Sons Plumbing are uniquely qualified to advise our customers on ways to stay safe in the event of an emergency. Not only do we want to provide residents of Marion and the surrounding area with above-ground and below-ground storm shelters designed to provide the highest safety, we’re also here to share are expertise. In addition to having a strong emergency shelter in place, it’s crucial to understand what types of items you may need to sustain you and your family through a natural disaster or severe weather event. Read on to discover what items to stock in your emergency shelter. Having everything in place will increase your chances of riding out the storm in comfort and security.

1. Food and Water

Of course, a well-stocked supply of non-perishable foods and water should be at the top of any disaster preparedness kit. You’ll want to be sure to have at least five days worth of nourishment on-hand per person in order to ride out any storm, but shooting for a week’s worth may be a more secure goal. Include a gallon of water per day for each member of your household to be safe.

You can buy cases of individually bottled water for convenience or opt for larger jugs. Just be sure to have an adequate supply; it’s a good idea to overestimate the amount you’ll need if you have the space. Non-perishable food items are the most appropriate choice for keeping in your storm shelter. Though these items often come in sealed packages or cans, it is possible for them to go bad. You may wish to rotate your supplies every six months to a year.

Handy non-perishable food stuffs to keep in your shelter can be anything you and your loved ones enjoy, but it is a good plan to include plenty of healthy proteins and filling carbohydrates. Because you may not have access to electricity, opting for simple foods is recommended.

Common non-perishables items to stock include:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned soups and pastas
  • Canned fish or chicken
  • Peanut butter
  • Nuts
  • Beef jerky
  • Trail mix
  • Granola bars
  • Crackers and other snacks with a long shelf life

Don’t forget food and water for your pets if you have them, as well as baby food or formula if you have a little one. Be sure to have enough water for mixing formula, and remember to rotate your water supply since even water has an expiration date. In addition, you’ll need dishes, cups, and utensils. Plastic and paper disposable ones are great for this purpose to avoid cleanup. Add a can opener to your inventory list as well. Keep in mind that you might also find yourself without running water for washing dishes.

2. Clothing

Each person staying in your emergency shelter will require enough clothes to stay warm and comfortable. In the event you should find yourself without heat, always keep winter items in your emergency stash of clothing. Keep each member’s clothes in a separate plastic bag to ensure everything stays dry and is easy to locate. Make sure you have warm coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and socks for everyone. A raincoat, poncho, and waterproof boots are all helpful to have as well, especially for adults who may need to leave the shelter for any reason. Heavy boots and work gloves may also come in handy for these individuals. Don’t forget to have plenty of warm blankets in your shelter, along with sleeping bags and pillows.

3. Sanitation Supplies

Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is essential to staying healthy in your temporary shelter. You can’t know how long you’ll need to hunker down, so being prepared for a substantial stay is always smart. Include items such as trash bags, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and tissues in your storm shelter supplies. Have a supply of diapers, wipes, lotions, and ointments available if you have a baby in your care.

4. First Aid Kit

Illness or injury are a possibility in the event you find yourself sheltering in place. Be sure you’re ready for any type of situation by assembling a basic first aid kit. You can put this together yourself or purchase a pre-made kit. If you’re making your own stash, you can stow them in a backpack.

First aid kit items should include:

  • Each household member’s prescription medicines
  • Common over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Bandages
  • Dressing
  • Gause pads
  • Surgical tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Instant cold compresses
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Ace bandages
  • Non-latex gloves

If you’d prefer, you can keep your first aid kit in your home. Just be sure to grab it when leaving for your shelter.

5. Tools and Camping Supplies

It makes good sense to keep camping gear and basic tools in your storm shelter, as these are things you can use to maintain your safety and comfort even if there is no electricity or water available. Sleeping bags and blankets will make nice, cozy beds that allow your loved ones to stay warm. You’ll want battery-operated appliances like a radio and lantern to keep you informed and allow you to see in your dark shelter. Flashlights and extra batteries are also necessities.

Other crucial items to include are:

  • Duct tape
  • Nylon rope
  • Hammer
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Waterproof matches

Local maps are something that could also be beneficial for your disaster supply collection.

6. Personal Documents and Cash

Finally, you’ll want to have your important personal documents and some cash within reach in an emergency. With electrical issues, digital transactions may not be possible; cash can be used no matter the circumstances. Keep everything together in an easy-to-grab folder or envelope for convenient transport. You may need things like the deed to your home, insurance policies, tax information, medical records, birth certificates, and banking information if you have to relocate after the storm or emergency has passed. While we’re on the subject of personal items, each member of your family will probably want to bring a favorite book, game, puzzle, or hobby to keep them occupied and entertained during your time in the shelter. This will make such an uncertain and stressful time away from home more manageable.

Learn More About Your Ideal Storm Shelter

If you’re wondering which type of storm shelter may be best for your home or property, Baker & Sons Plumbing can help you decide. We’re experts in emergency preparedness and can assist you in choosing an above-ground or below-ground storm shelter to suit your specific lifestyle and home needs. In addition, we offer a wide range of plumbing, drain and sewer services to our customers. You can count on us for professional garbage disposal, toilet, tankless water heater, and water filtration installation, maintenance, and repair. We’re also experts in commercial plumbing and bacteria treatment. Contact Baker & Sons Plumbing for your storm shelter needs in Marion, IL and the surrounding area.

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