In part 1 we talked about the first steps in building your own safe room. Today I’m going to give you some more advice on the topic of creating an unbreakable safe haven in your own home.
The key principle here is that power needs to be 100% self-contained – so that if for example the power was down or deliberately cut (in a home invasion scenario), you would still have power in your inner sanctum.
An optimal system would be a battery bank with an inverter. That way, no matter what happens to the power outside, you have an uninterruptible power supply inside. These systems range from the cheap to the expensive and note that electrical hardwiring is best performed by someone qualified – for obvious safety and legal reasons.
Inverters come in two basic types – pure sine wave and modified sine wave. Pure sine wave (such as this Xantrex deliver better power quality than modified sine wave; and if you are running computers or other electronic equipment this is regarded as important for the safety of your equipment. Pure sine wave inverters are more expensive but a worthy investment. Note that there are numerous “cheapie” inverters out there that promise big power but don’t deliver. The Amazon reviews are very valuable in this regard – however note also, numerous appliances have a ‘current spike’ when switched on and a weaker inverter may not be able to cope. One sometimes sees reviews from someone stating “this inverter didn’t deliver” when in fact their wiring was too weak to handle the current draw. It’s better to go for a beefier inverter – however note that the cabling from battery to inverter should be substantial. The thicker the better, honestly – and this type of installation should be performed by someone who understands the formulas for calculating cable thickness and voltage drop in DC systems.
If your room has a window or other ventilation system you could potentially use a generator for power. If it doesn’t have a window or any type of ventilation, a generator could be a real danger to you because of the fumes – which can kill in an enclosed space. Not greatly advised.
You can also use battery-powered or hand-cranked lights and phones. This is the quickest and most affordable solution. Given the fact that you won’t spend a lifetime in the safe room, you shouldn’t need anything sophisticated. Just a rudimentary back-up power source to get you through the danger.
You have multiple options here, depending on how much you want to spend. You can settle for a portable toilet or you can choose separate plumbing and a septic tank. That means you’ll need a lot of water supplies in the room. One person needs roughly 1 gallon per day.
First of all you need non-perishable food and safe water supplies. Don’t forget to rotate!
Secondly, you should get a first-aid case with basic medication, depending on your family’s needs.
Last, but not least, you need flashlights and extra batteries.
These are the basic items you should always keep in your safe room. But you can also get for example:
· Warm and light clothes
· Basic sanitation supplies
· A radio – to stay informed on what happens outside
· Identification and other important documents
· Duct tape
· An extra pair of glasses – if you wear any
· Cash and credit cards
· Potassium-iodine tablets – in case of radiation sickness
You will likely wish to have some means of self-defense on hand but note that the general idea of a safe room is to keep you safe in an impenetrable space until help arrives. You aren’t going to want to open the door and the idea is to stay put.
In movies, safe rooms can be quite elaborate. In reality, a safe room serves only one purpose: to protect you from different types of dangers. You’re not supposed to spend a lot of time there, but rather have a small, hidden place to hide until it’s safe to go out again.
Remember, you only have to cover the essentials: food, health and protection.
Good luck in building your own safe room. We’ll talk soon about other important survival issues you have to know.
For more in-depth knowledge on protecting your home, check out Bulletproof Home