Safe Rooms


Bad Weather & SHTF Safe Rooms

Safe Room

Having a Safe Room built into your home or vacation home, survival retreat or bug out bunker is a great option for those who are serious preppers.

A Safe Room is a room that is either built in place during the construction phase of the home or a room that has had reinforcements added to it that will make it strong enough to withstand major weather events or even to keep intruders out and keep you safe from harm.

If you are in a position to build a Safe Room into your new home or want a Safe Room added to your current home this builder may be able to help you out.

Preparing a Safe Room

www.Ready.Gov offers the following advice to consider when building a Safe Room:

Extreme windstorms in many parts of the country pose a serious threat to buildings and their occupants. Your residence may be built “to code” but that does not mean it can withstand winds from extreme events such as tornadoes and major hurricanes. The purpose of a safe room or a wind shelter is to provide a space where you and your family can seek refuge that provides a high level of protection. You can build a safe room in one of several places in your home.

  • Your basement
  • Atop a concrete slab-on-grade foundation or garage floor.
  • An interior room on the first floor.

Safe rooms built below ground level provide the greatest protection, but a safe room built in a first-floor interior room also can provide the necessary protection. Below-ground safe rooms must be designed to avoid accumulating water during the heavy rains that often accompany severe windstorms.

To protect its occupants, a safe room must be built to withstand high winds and flying debris, even if the rest of the residence is severely damaged or destroyed. Consider the following when building a safe room:

  • The safe room must be adequately anchored to resist overturning and uplift.
  • The walls, ceiling and door of the shelter must withstand wind pressure and resist penetration by windborne objects and falling debris.
  • The connections between all parts of the safe room must be strong enough to resist the wind.
  • Sections of either interior or exterior residence walls that are used as walls of the safe room must be separated from the structure of the residence so that damage to the residence will not cause damage to the safe room.

 What should you have in your Safe Room?

The contents of a Safe Room will vary from person to person, but I would recommend having the following items as a minimum for basic survival inside of the Safe Room.

  • Bug Out Bags for each family member
  • 3 days worth of extra clothing
  • Additional food and water for 3-5 Days
  • Extra sleeping bags or blankets and pillows
  • A well stocked first aid kit
  • Several N95 Dust Masks
  • Whistle
  • Chem lights
  • LED Flashlights/lamp and extra batteries
  • Playing Cards or Board Games and Books
  • Weapon of your choice for self defense
Note: If you question the integrity or stability of your Safe Room you may also want to consider adding rock climbing or biking helmets for yourselves or your children.
Debris left behind from the F-5 Tornado in Joplin, Mo in May 2011

I would also recommend having the following items in the Safe Room to help you extricate yourself incase the door is jammed or debris is blocking your exit or in case the entire house has fallen down on top of your Safe Room.

  •  A chainsaw, fuel and bar oil
  • Crowbar / Pry bar
  • Sledge Hammer
  • Hacksaw with extra blades
  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Claw hammer
  • Box of large nails
  • Spool of safety wire
  • Heavy duty zip ties

More likely than not a Safe Room will be utilized for shelter during a high wind extreme weather event, but the possibility does exist that it also could be used to keep yourself or your family safe from intruders or looters (zombies) after a major catastrophe as well.  So be sure to consider the wall thickness, placement of the locks and whether or not the Safe Room looks like a Safe Room from the outside or does it just look like another closet or even a built in cabinet with a hidden door.

For 25 more great tips on how to improve your home security please click the following link to read an article I wrote at:

Have you built a Safe Room?  If so please tell us in the comments below what you keep in your Safe Room that I forgot to mention!


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2 thoughts on “Safe Rooms

  1. For building a room in an existing house, what kind of door would be best? Also thanks for the supplies list. Never thought about that.

  2. I would go with a thick steel insulated door on heavy duty hinges. Then I would add additional steel to the back side of the door because a 9mm will shoot right through a regular steel door. Cheers JJ

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