With an average of 1,200 tornadoes touching down in the United States every year, equipping your home with the full spectrum of safety measures is imperative. These precautions, however, do not end with the installation of an aboveground storm shelter. Once your tornado shelter is in place, be sure to stock the structure with the following items.

  1. Radio

    Keep a battery-powered radio on hand to keep updated on the storm’s projection. Listening for weather alerts will inform you on how long to remain in your storm shelter.

  2. Flashlights

    A tornado could easily cause a power outage. Keeping multiple flashlights around, including a hand crank model will keep you out of the dark.

  3. Backup Power and Batteries

    With essential electronics such as a radio and flashlight on hand, it is important to keep them running. Keep a stash of backup batteries inside of your shelter. In the event of a power outage, it would also be smart to purchase portable chargers for your family’s cell phones.

  4. Food and Water

    An emergency preparedness staple, all tornado shelters should be stocked with plenty of nonperishable food and bottled water. Be sure to consider the size of your family when buying these supplies.

  5. Warm Clothing and Blankets

    With the unpredictability of storms, having warm clothing and plenty of blankets in your shelter will keep your family comfortable as the tornado passes. With most tornadoes hitting between 3 and 9 p.m., these storms do not operate on a schedule and can start at any time. Warmth is especially important when taking shelter at night.

  6. First Aid Kit

    Having a first aid kit in your shelter will allow you to treat any cuts or minor injuries that occurred before you and your family entered. Be sure to restock the kit as necessary.

  7. Items Unique to Your Family’s Needs

    Anything that you have in your home for emergency medical needs, such as an EpiPen or an inhaler, should also be in your shelter. If you have a baby or toddler, be sure to keep diapers, wipes, and other care essentials on hand.

Well-stocked storm shelters are important safety measures for families living in tornado-risk areas. Be ready for any “what if” scenario by writing a supply checklist and reading through it with your loved ones, ensuring that your family takes all possible preparedness measures.