Superior Safe Room Tips

This is not a professional list and should not be depended on as correct or the last word in safe room preparation. The page only includes those things which we feel should be given particular emphasis. You must use your own judgment given the particular circumstances in which you find yourself. Check other sites on Family and Personal Preparation for detailed information and material which is not included here.


Make allowances for an extra 1 to 2 people you did not count on. Often times, in a dire situation, you may find yourself with others who have not been aware of the need for a safe room.

Other things to have prepared:

Have the boxes of things you need in the room, so that everybody is not running around collecting all of the materials you want when the siren goes off.

Have all food ready to eat cold. Do not plan to cook in the room. Flames use a great deal of oxygen, there is always the danger of fire, and the smells of cooking are difficult to get rid of in an enclosed room. I would not even have matches in the room.

Give everyone a job to do so that when the siren sounds, each individual knows what is expected in completing the final arrangements before the doors and windows are shut. It is also helpful to delegate responsibilities (even for small tasks) during the time in the safe room.


Make the seating as comfortable as possible – probably on the floor – you may be there a long time. Have plenty of blankets, changes of clothing, and warm clothing if cool weather.

Have an electric fan in the room for the rise in temperature with people in a cramped space. If there will be babies or children, or the possibility of them, be sure to use only fans with wire mesh or equivalent covering.

Have plenty of bags of chips, candy, etc. and plenty of reading material, paper and pens, pencils. You will find that having something to munch on and being by yourself is necessary after a little time in there.


Have plenty of bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate), or household bleach (5%) and soap. Sodium bicarbonate can be useful for so many things – medical (see medical pages), brushing teeth, reducing odors, put in water soaked towels to be placed under doors (1 tablespoon per cup water) as extra protection against chemical infiltration and air exchange, etc. see first Aid, Decontamination section of Family and Personal Preparation for Terrorist Attack “Chemical Agents – Indiana State Department of Health…, U.S. Center for Disease Control…, Worst Case Scenario…, WHO Chemical and Biological Incidents and Emergencies…” and others for use of bicarbonate of soda, household bleach (5%).

Have plenty of water (for fire, first aid, etc.) besides drinking water (mineral water and other). Have extra buckets, and pans or containers.

And canned or vacuum sealed bottled food (don’t forget the opener).

Have with you a box with any medications needed.


Do NOT use candles – danger of fire and they also utilize valuable oxygen. Use lights or flashlights.

Do not use an open flame heater and certainly not the home heating system which should be shut down and all ports in the safe room plastic sheeted off. Use electric heaters or plenty of warm clothing.