ORLANDO, Fla. - Having a room in your house designated to keeping you safe during a storm plays a crucial role in preparing your home and family for the upcoming hurricane season.
News 6 Meteorologist Candace Campos put together a safe room in her home to walk viewers through the steps they should take while making their own.
“After living through Hurricane Andrew 27 years ago, I owe my life to the safe room my family had prepared,” Campos said. “Our house was a complete loss, but that small half-bathroom where we rode out the category 5 hurricane, protected what was most important -- our lives.”
Whether you use a safe room during tornado warnings or when it’s time to ride out a tropical storm, having a well-planned and prepped safe room in your home can help protect you and ease anxiety for you and your family.
Find the most interior room in your house, or a room with the least amount of windows, like a closet or bathroom. In Campos’ case, a small bathroom in her home served as her family’s safe room.
Stock the room with must-have items and a few other things that can help pass time.
• Enough water for each person, as well as some extra water in case you cannot flush the toilet.
• Cooler for ice or medication that needs to stay refrigerated.
• Battery operated fan. Air conditioning and ceilings fans are usually out of commission.
• Flashlights. Each person should have their own light source, along with battery lanterns or even tap lights.
• Baby wipes. This can be useful even if you do not have a baby.
• Ziploc bags for waterproofing important documents, cash and cell phones.
• Bug repellent. Mosquitos are a big problem after a storm.
Campos also suggested swapping out a few shelves to make them hurricane ready, as she did with some of the ones hanging in her linen closet.
Her shelves were stocked with some of the items that are essential to staying informed.
“We have a NOAA weather radio that alerts us when warnings are issued, a regular radio, plenty of batteries and a complete and organized first aid kit,” Campos said.
Make the room as comfortable as possible.
Campos says this step is crucial, since this room could end up being where you have to ride out an hourslong storm.
For physical comfort, you can use anything you have around the house that may cushion the otherwise uncomfortable floor.
In her safe room, Campos used pillows, beach towels and a yoga mat to add extra cushion.
“You just don't know how long you will be stuck in the room,” she said.
In addition to physical comfort, it’s important to remember that severe weather can be scary, and you want to make sure you’re emotionally comfortable throughout any storm, especially if a young child may be spending time in the safe room.
“Little goodies for the little one can help,” Campos said. “It can be cards, stuffed animals – anything to help time go by and ease that hurricane anxiety.”
Once you’ve completed each step, your safe room should be ready to be put to use, though we hope you never have to.
Campos reminds viewers to remember that they can customize their rooms as they want in order to fit their family’s needs. The most important thing to remember is to plan and prepare ahead of time.
If you have suggestions of other items to include in a safe room, leave your ideas in the comments below.
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