Panic Room: Do You Need One?

Preparing for disaster is on the minds of many, as evidenced by the many television series devoted to showcasing the plans of “preppers.” Some are more extreme than others, coming up with a “bug out” plan. Others are just preparing for natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes. Some of these plans involve constructing a safe room, which is basically a room designed for the family to escape to when disaster strikes.

A safe room, also referred to as a panic room, can be an effective way to keep your family and valuable belongings safe in many situations – burglars, kidnappers, natural disasters, and even terrorist attacks. You don’t need to go as high tech as the panic rooms of the movies. First of all, you might never need it, so spending the amount of money necessary to make it this impenetrable is thankfully  not required.

If it is still something you are interested in, you can still construct a room that will keep you safe in the event of an emergency situation. If you are financially able, you can go all out and build a room fortified with concrete walls reinforced by steel beams with heavy, impenetrable steel doors, and air purification ventilation system. If that isn’t in the cards, you can at least make a room with a solid security design to escape to while waiting for the security company to respond to the security alarms. Incorporating a phone line in order to contact the police are a must, and surveillance equipment is handy to see what’s happening on the outside while you are locked safely inside.

Electronic LockPanic Room On  A Budget

The high tech panic room of Hollywood can set you back a bit – an estimated $40,000 to $60,000 to be precise. If that’s not in your budget, what can you do? By looking at your needs and what you expect to use the room for can help you decide what’s most important and guide your decisions to a more affordable safe room.

You probably won’t need a room to protect you for days on end, especially if your home is equipped with a security system. The room can serve as a place to wait safely for the authorities to respond, or for the situation to resolve itself. In this case, all that’s required is a room that you can escape to that has no other means of entry – windows or skylights mainly – that features a door that is virtually impossible to break through. Inside the room, there should be some way to contact the outside world, whether a separate phone line or cell phone, provisions like food and water to last for a couple of days, a flashlight or two, and something to pass the time (especially if you have children.) Don’t forget the first aid kit!

Your next move is to determine where this room will be. You don’t need to build a special room in the basement or addition on your home. Instead, try working with what you have. A large walk-in closet can work after the door is modified for security, while others find the bathroom to be the perfect place. This latter choice works well as you are able to answer the call of nature, good for those with children or anyone staying in the room for an extended period of time. A great place to consider locating your safe room: the garage. It allows you the space to build a room on the ground floor, the best place for a safe room. For areas prone to tornadoes and hurricanes, the basement is a great choice – unless you live in an area that floods easily.

Why A Panic Room?

There are a variety of reasons, and yes, burglars are one of the big ones. However, people are choosing to add a safe room to their home for a place to go during natural disasters. It’s no secret that hurricanes, tornadoes, and other weather events are happening all over the country. Having a place to take shelter that is stocked with supplies and protected from the damaging weather conditions is a wonderful idea.

When dealing with storms featuring high winds, like hurricanes and tornadoes, a windowless room is even more important. It’s becoming much more popular, with Allstate Insurance even featuring a nifty infographic explaining the benefits of a safe room. They recommend familiarizing the entire family with the emergency plan, instructing them on what to do if an event occurs.

Things To Keep In Mind

If you are stocking this room with food and water, you’ll want to make sure you’re using mostly non-perishable foods. If you have any perishable food items, you’ll want to go through your stock regularly and remove food that has passed its expiration date. You should stock at the minimum 3-day supply of water, with 1 gallon of water per person per day.

No matter what your reason behind building a safe room, it is a great idea to ensure your family’s safety when disaster strikes. Are you prepared for disaster?

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