In the US, it is becoming more and more common for homeowners to invest in emergency preparedness. Whether you have an underground bug out shelter or simply have a safe room in your home, it is essential that these things are fully equipped with and stocked up on the essential tools and supplies to help see you through turbulent times.

Our world is very fragile and with each passing day, we are witnessing the atrocities, natural disasters, and problems which many countries around the world are facing. Many people view those who prepare for the worst by kitting out their homes as crazy. However, this attitude is fast slipping away and many more people, even those who once saw such preparedness unnecessary, are starting to get in on the safety trend.

Ask yourself this question, what would you do and where would you go if a major catastrophe struck, the government shutdown completely or something else happened which meant you’d have to leave your home or seek out safe shelter? The more unpredictable the world becomes, the more important it is to be prepared for the worst. Hopefully, you will never have to use your emergency bug out shelter or safe room, but it is better to have one there just in case, rather than be caught out when the worst happens. Whether it’s above or below ground, in your house or in a remote location, having one is now key and many new build homes come with safe rooms as standard.

There are a lot of things you need to think about when filling up your bunker, but some items are absolutely essential and must not be missed off, no matter what.

#1: A Quality Bowsaw and Other Tools

You will have to emerge from your bunker eventually should you ever use it, and you need to be prepared for anything which you might face outside. If there has been a natural disaster or physical attack, there is likely going to be debris laying around everywhere – especially if your bunker is in a wooded area – and this is where a good quality sharp bowsaw will come in.

With one, you can make short work of big pieces of wood which may be blocking your path and you can even cut through stone to an extent. We even have our personal favorite which you can view here. Other tools you should include are a multitool, screwdrivers, and pliers.

#2: Food and Water

When stocking up a bunker, many people neglect to include the most important things – dry and canned food, and water. Water is more essential to your survival than food and you should ensure there is a lot of unopened bottled water in your bunker. Theoretically speaking, the average human can last only three days without water whereas they can last three days without food, so stocking up your bunker with water is important, especially since bunkers cannot usually be fitted with running water.
Don’t stock your bunker up with perishable foods. Instead, opt for dry and canned foods including dried fruits, vegetables and nuts, snacks like crackers and peanut butter, and canned goods such as tuna. All these have very long shelf lives and will last for years theoretically.

#3: A First Aid Kit

You can have accidents even when you are down and secure in your bunker, so it is a good idea to be prepared for this. Even the smallest cut can become infected, and in your bunker, you won’t be able to summon medical help, so having a fully stocked first aid kit can provide you with everything you need to treat minor ailments and injuries.

Ensure your first aid kit includes pain relief, antiseptics, plasters, antibiotics, bandages and all the basics so that you can be prepared for most minor things. Ensure you check your first aid kit regularly to ensure that nothing is about to expire.

#4: Warm Clothes

If your bunker is underground then you are going to need a stash of warm and insulated clothing, as it is not warm below the surface. Nights can get very, very cold unless your bunker is well-insulated, so ensure that you have clothes which will be suitable to keep your body heat in.

Garments which are made from the likes of merino wool and heavy cotton are always a good choice but focus on functionality over fashion. Nobody is going to be judging what you are wearing when you’re sitting in your bunker. Nobody can see, nobody will care, and people probably have more to worry about.

#5: Other Miscellaneous Items

Keep copies of important documents for yourself and your family down in your shelter, such as photo identification, passports, birth certificates and insurance forms. This will make your life much easier in the aftermath of a disaster, especially if you lose the physical copies during a natural disaster. You want to have proof on-hand that you are covered, and photocopies will suffice.

Other important items to keep down there include batteries, which will be your lifeline whilst underground with no mains electricity (flashlights, radios…), a camping stove to heat up food, basic pots, pans and cutlery, a washing up bowl and dish soap so you can at least clean up after yourself and good trash bags so you can throw stuff away and tie them up without it getting smelly.

It is becoming increasingly common for families across North America to include some sort of safety room or bunker in or around their homes, especially in areas prone to natural disasters. Although some people take it too far and prepare for an all-out doomsday scenario, others take a simpler approach and create a shelter to provide cover from natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes.

Whatever your reason for building a survival bunker, it is imperative that you keep it fully operational and stocked up with the essential items which will ensure your survival for however long you end up down there.