There can be several motives for constructing a safe room in your home. While some construct these ‘inside bunkers’ to provide safety in case of a home invasion, these rooms are also a good idea if you live in an area of the country where natural disasters can occur. Safe rooms are made to provide a last retreat in the face of danger, and are generally constructed in the basement of the home.
If your home has no basement, it is still possible to have a safe room to protect you and your family. The safe room for above the basement must be made on the first floor, unless extra reinforcing is added to the structure of the house. While a ground floor safe room will not provide the measure of security that a basement safe room will, it can still help your family survive during an emergency.
How Are They Made?
Safe rooms are generally constructed of concrete or reinforced steel. They should be able to resist penetration by wind-driven flying objects and be attached firmly to the floor. High winds associated with tornadoes and hurricanes are capable of tilting over fairly heavy object, so proper attachment is necessary.
There should be no windows in your safe room, and the door should be able to be securely locked. The door itself should be heavy and strong enough to resist objects and blows. Some means of ventilation should be provided, however, and if you live in a hurricane zone or other area where water may be a problem, drainage should also be built in.
Pre-Made Or Do It Yourself?
It is quite possible to make your own safe room and the plans for these are available from FEMA. If you are at all handy, and you wish to save money, you can construct a safe room that will provide all the safety and security that you and your family require. On the other hand, it is also possible to purchase a premade safe room that will be delivered to your house and installed by the manufacturer. This, of course, will be a much simpler and quicker way to provide security.
What Is Needed In A Safe Room?
You will probably not need a massive amount of supplies in your safe room, and in most cases, there will not be enough room for too much besides the people and pets. However, as it is possible that you will be in your safe room, during a tornado, hurricane, or home invasion for a period of hours, if not days, you should have some emergency supplies on hand.
There should be a water supply consisting of several gallons of water, and something to drink from. Emergency food supply that will not require cooking, such as health or granola bars, are a good idea, also. A first aid kit should be tucked away somewhere in the safe room, and you should have some means of containing human waste. A cell phone or other means of communication is also a necessity in a safe room, as it will allow you to call out for assistance, if needed.