Do you have suggestions for preparing a "safe room"?

Please excuse me if this topic has been addressed before. I searched the archives but didn’t find anything.

These instructions from The Washington Post have shed some light for me on preparing a “safe room” at home.

Maybe you will find it helpful. We have had a room stocked for over a year now. I am aware that it may be futile, but at least I feel that we have done what we can.

Do any of you have any suggestions that haven’t been addressed by the link above?

Guns. lots of ammo. More ammo. maybe an extra gun or two.

and if you are going to seal up a room and stay in it, you probably need an alternative source of oxygen.

I am pretty sure anthrax spores are bullet-resistant.

I wonder if the Washington Post had the same typos in their version :dubious:

Actually you might be better off getting a couple large cylinders of compressed air and some kind of regulator that will keep like .05 PSI overpressure in the room for a while. You have fresh clean air and airborne contaminants are kept out by positive pressure.

You would need to have some kind of air movement/replacement or you would build up CO[sub]2[/sub] in the room and kill yourself that way.

Maybe one of the ex-submarine people cruising the board can tell us something about atmosphere recycling. They will probably know plenty about sealed environment survival.

Also, make sure that the guy who installed the room doesn’t team up with a no-good relative of the rich guy who lived there before and a mysterious psycho named Raoul in an attempt to steal the millions in bearer bonds that are hidden in the safe room. :smiley:

He goes under the concrete slab, Bucko.

IIRC, subs use electrolysis to split water into H2 and O2, and just dump the H2 overboard. The CO2 is removed by running the air over an amine bed in a piece of equipment called a “scrubber”, and when the amine is saturated it can be recharged by heating (with steam?) and dumping the resulting CO2 overboard. Not a very efficient process unless you happen to have a nuclear reactor nearby.

A light source and a large tank of green algae.

Food supply too…yummy algae.

Decades ago, I read in some civil defense pamphlet that a study had been done the regarding wall color of a bomb shelter. Someone concluded that light green was the color which would drive one insane at the slowest rate.

This article mentions the use of that color in passing.
The cached page below gets a little bit closer, but I cannot find the specific recommendation online."bomb+shelter"+walls+green&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Isn’t algae light green? Mmmm, wall crop.

I’d go for red so you can’t see the blood.

Funny thread guys.

You know, when I was in JHS I read every Nuclear War survival book I could get my hands on and none of them ever mentioned getting rid of the Co2. One of them showed how to make a sand and activated charcoal air filter. Pretty much a LARGE airtight box with a fine mesh on the bottom, 1/4 filled with activated charcoal and 3/4 filled with sand. The sand must be kept damp for best results. It has a bezel and air hoze on the bottom. The air then needs to be pumped in. Would that be good enough for anthrax? The book claimed that it was good enough for Chemical and Bio warfare. Im pretty sure that they also showed how to make a one way exhaust vent. Would that solve the CO2 problem?

Suggestion… Don’t bother. What can a “safe room” do for you that a safe home can’t? Extra locks on the doors, security bars on the windows, a gun stashed here and there (unless you have children…)

If you want a bomb shelter, it really needs to be outdoors and underground. You just can’t get the equivalent of ten feet of damp earth indoors. (Can your flooring cope with two tons of lead and aluminum sheeting?) If you want an overpressurized environment, it’s just about as easy to do it for your whole house (or flat) as it is for one room.

And in any case, it wouldn’t be the color of the walls that would drive me bats: it’d be the SMELL! You really want to live (and poop) in one small room for umpteen weeks? Ew!


Let me suggest that if we are all going to go bananas on this that we all learn how to make a plow and handle a team of oxen. Regular old field corn is your best bet for a crop but until it matures you will have to learn how to live on roots and grubs.

From a general survivalist viewpoint I agree. In all seriousness. Have a couple rifles in a common military caliber (7.62 x 51, .223, or 7.62 x 39) and one or two handguns. Most importantly, have lots of ammo (thousands of rounds).

I just had a thought, why spend thousands of dollars on a safe room, if you can get a good gasmask for around 30$ from almost any Army Surplus store?

I think evacuation would be better for an anthrax or bio attack.

So you can shoot the guys trying to kill you and steal your stuff as they come through the door.

For just a room in your house that you want to hide in for a while should something bad happen? Okay, here’s some thoughts:

Can’t have too much water.

Feminine hygiene products.

A knife. Or multi-plier thing.

Work gloves. Work clothes, summer and winter.

Chap stick. Seems whenever I’m stuck somewhere that I get chapped lips.

Mattresses, sleeping bags, blankets, sheets.

Scrabble Board or some other game for you and your fellow survivors to while away the time with.

Books, preferably short story anthologies (anything that drives you into a “safe room” is going to detract from your attention span). Boredom’s a killer.

You’ll need a guitar or harmonica or something.

Whatever you pack in your toiletry bag when you go on trips (toothbrush, soap, etc.).

What are your kids going to do in the hours, days, weeks, months it takes for the National Guard to find you? Got coloring books and kids games? Got something tastier than MREs for them to eat?

Got a dog or cat you love? Thought of his or her needs? You may need dog food or a litter box or something.


Tape. Scissors.

Religious? If so, you’ll want a Bible (or whatever) with you. If you’re stuck in your safe room, scared, and alone for a long time, you’ll definitely want to turn to your higher power.

Tons of batteries. All sizes. You don’t have enough.

Your tool box and first aid kit is not complete right now, I promise. And whatever you don’t have is exactly what you’ll need.

Plastic bags to dispose of human waste. And leftover food for that matter . . . you really don’t want to be overrun by rodents, and it takes rodents no time flat to overrun a place.

Mouse traps. Rat traps.

There are alarms for chemical warfare agents–-I don’t know if they’re available to civilians (hell, they’re not even available in proper numbers for the military according to a news report I saw the other night), but if you can lay your hands on one it would be beneficial to you.

Medicine of all kinds. Every kind of first aid equipment you can lay your hands on.

Toilet paper.

Got any addictions? I know there was a time when I wouldn’t have been able to handle The End of Civilization without cigarettes.

Knowledge. Make sure you know how to use your rifles, IV’s, generator, or whatever before you need them.

Hell, I don’t know . . . how much money do you have to spend? How long are you gonna be in this place? How crazy can we get with the scenarios? If I were you, I would go to your local Army-Navy Surplus and Hunting/Camping supply stores and browse around for ideas. It also wouldn’t hurt to brainstorm with the people who you think will be your fellow survivors. Remember, everything you need to do in your normal daily life will be something you will need to do in your post-apocalyptic life as well.