SHTF Safe Rooms

A safe room is designated as a particular room(s) that you can retreat to in cases of home invasion and/or weather threats.  It is How to build a safe roomdefined as any room in your house that has been set up to provide a secure location that provides you protection during an intrusion or weather event that contains supplies which would enable you to stay there for a limited amount of time.  There are two main uses of safe rooms.  The first is one that is designed to protect you from an intruder. The second is one that is design to protect from an intruder and but more importantly weather.  Both have similar characteristics, but one is more fortified than the other.

By Dan C, a contributing author of SHTFBlog.com & Survival Cache

Why A Safe Room?

If you live in a multi-story house there is a tremendous advantage to having safe rooms on each floor.  The biggest advantage is that How to build a safe roomyou do not need to go from one level to another to find a safe room, since that process might place you in danger of running into the intruder.  As mentioned above, you may have several safe rooms in your home.  For example, if you live in a two story house with a basement.  You may have secure safe rooms on the second and main floors that are designed to be used if there is a home invasion. And you may have a fortified safe room in the basement that it to be used for bad weather events. This enables you to have several locations to retreat to in the event of a threatening issue. Safe rooms can be established in closets, bedrooms, or spare rooms, size is not as important as ease to access, ability to secure, room for limited supplies and people. The size of the room is completely dependent on the number and size of the people who might be using it. For example, if you have two small children and they share a bedroom, their closet may be the perfect safe room. However, if you have a safe room intended for use during a bad weather event and the whole family plus other may need to use the room, then the size must be considerably larger.

Safe rooms should have the following qualities: easy to access, ability to lock or secure the door, personal protection tools, some limited survival tools,  a communication device, and a small supply of water and food. Should a safe room have windows?  That is an interesting consideration.  The answer is Yes and No.  Windows in a safe room that is design solely for the purpose of protecting you or your family from an intruder can be an asset.  It can allow you an alternative escape route if you need to that much evasive action.  One the other hand, window in a safe room designed to protect you from a bad weather event would not be a good idea. Since a window or any opening to the outside could result in a breach of the room.

Access

Ease of access is extremely important; you do not want to have to travel any great distance to gain access to your safe room.  The SHTF Roommore you have to travel to get to your safe room the greater the chance you will encounter the intruder or be at risk of exposure.  So bedrooms, closets and large bathroom are excellent first choices, followed by spare rooms, attics, and storage rooms.  Normally, bedrooms and bathrooms have locking doors but those locks are extremely light weight and can be picked or kicked through with minimal effort.  So installing more robust locks and even adding metal trim to the door frame will make it much harder for the door to be forced open.  Furthermore, there are very good door wedges that are excellent devices for securing the door closed.  These devices are kicked under the base of the door and work very well at preventing one from opening the door. Once the threat is gone the wedge is easily removed by pulling on a handle and the door is free to open.  Closets traditionally, do not have locks, so if a closet is going to be used then a strong lock must be installed to secure the door.

Also Read: Inside A Homemade Bunker

It may not be possible, practical or safe to have a personal protection tool such as a firearm in each safe room. However, some type of personal protection device should be in the room such as pepper spray, baseball bat or taser.  If you feel you will be bringing a firearm to the safe room or you have the resources to securely place on in your safe room, be sure to store extra ammo in the safe room as well.  Having a limited supply of survival tools is important.  The three non-food or water items that I highly recommend in the safe room are: multi-tool, small first aid kit and flashlight.

Snacks & Comm

Communication is going to be imperative if you have had to resort to your safe room. You will need to communicate with law How to build a safe roomenforcement at a minimum and then with family members.  If you have the resources, having an extra charged cell phone in each safe room is a great idea. In addition, to a cell phone, walkie talkies are great back up communication tools.  They can enable you to communicate with other family members in other safe rooms.

Finally, having a small supply of water and snacks is important.  It will help relax you provide a sense of comfort.  As well as, it may be needed if you are in your safe room for an extended stay.  This may be the case in your safe room that you have designated for weather related events.  In you safe room delegated for weather related events it will also be advantageous to have a small portable camping style toilet.  You will be surprised how invaluable that will be if you are in your safe room for more than 30 minutes.

In summary, safe rooms are those locations in your house that are designated as secure protected rooms for the purpose of providing a safe refuge during a home invasion, robbery or bad weather event.  To be effective all the components of the safe room must be in place before you need them.  And everyone needs to know the plan when to use them and the protocol once everyone is inside.

Photos By:
Panic Room – The Movie
Armag Corp

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26 comments… add one
  • hunkerdown August 5, 2015, 8:43 pm

    Just what we need, more people cowered in fear, hiding away until an intruder decides to leave. What the hell, as a people have we become? Fear is supposed to motivate, not paralyze! Buy a gun, learn to shoot…in the end though, I’m just wasting my time to even believe that people will ever stand up on their hind legs and meet the aggressors head on. Wasting, wasting, wasting…

    Reply
    • kevin August 6, 2015, 7:20 pm

      what about those that are in a DUTY TO RETREAT STATES they really have no choice
      and as much as I hate the anti gun nuts that’s there best op

      Reply
      • Anonymous August 6, 2015, 8:57 pm

        If you live in a state where you have to retreat in your own home it’s time to move.

        Reply
        • taxn2poverty August 7, 2015, 12:16 pm

          Anonymous: I must be slipping, because I was trying to be too nice to say what you said, but you are absolutely correct. If the state has screwed up laws, either change them or move!

          Reply
      • Hunkerdown August 6, 2015, 9:00 pm

        Mr. Kevin, I can’t argue that point. But how far does a person have to retreat in these states. After a person retreats into their own home are they still bound by law to retreat further? I honestly don’t know the answers to these questions. Do you know which states are retreat states? I’m sure glad I don’t live in one. God bless and thanks for the info.

        Reply
        • kevin August 7, 2015, 9:32 am

          well im looking up duty to retreat states as I write this MOST of the northeast is out of all the 50 states 16 are duty to retreat Hawaii is commieforina is and a somefrom the Midwest to very honest if I had the money to move my family I would leave this shithole ny TOMORROW

          Reply
          • taxn2poverty August 7, 2015, 12:20 pm

            Not being able to move has got to be the pits, but you need to do something. I know, easier said than done. I made the mistake of moving to Texas w/o checking to see if they had open carry. They didn’t, but fortunately Gov. Abbot signed it into law, effective Jan. 1st. Either way I wouldn’t want my grandkids to be raised in a state that disallows us to defend ourselves. Thanks for the info and God bless.

    • irishdutchuncle August 7, 2015, 4:47 am

      hey, whatever it takes to keep wife and kid alive, and unmolested, that’s what I’ll do. I’m willing to swallow my pride. (up to a point)
      shooting people inside the house makes an awful mess. my hearing isn’t that good, my night vision isn’t that good.
      it will be even worse after firing the first round, so I’d better make it count.
      practicing a home invasion drill, also might be seen as “premeditation”. (BUT they do happen. in that case, Every room in my house is likely to be a Panic Room… )

      Reply
    • Illini Warrior August 7, 2015, 12:54 pm

      Just remember – use your smarts in handling the situation – NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK YOUR STATE ALLOWS ….

      Just ask a guy named Zimmerman ….

      He thought Florida had laws that protected his rights to self defense ….

      You can call it the Zimmerman Screwed Reality Law or just the Trayvon Law …..

      If you haven’t noticed … there’s a new law system in place that winds thru the country from CA to Ferguson onto Baltimore and back to Sanford where it began…..

      Reply
  • Tamela August 6, 2015, 11:34 am

    I believe safe rooms are especially helpful if you have children, elderly, or handicapped people in the home. Avoiding a stand against an intruder can save more lives. You don’t want yo bring attention to your family.

    Reply
    • Anonymous August 7, 2015, 8:09 pm

      Tamela, I understand what you are saying, but if we don’t start standing up and meeting the intruders at the door, regardless the cause, then they will continue to have the upper hand. We need to quit worrying about our so called Christian Conscience and send these guys to hell where they belong. As long as we live under the burden of the mentality of those 12 jurors that let the the theater shooter in Colorado off with life in prison, we will always have this mess. He kills a dozen people: They got death, he gets life. How stupid can a jury be. If we don’t meet violence head on with violence then we might as well open the front doors and place our valuables on the coffee table. Thanks and God bless.

      Reply
      • Anonymous August 11, 2015, 11:56 pm

        I have always said. When the criminal element is afraid to stick their noses out their front door for fear of getting it shot off will stop their criminal activity

        Reply
  • Illini Warrior August 6, 2015, 3:28 pm

    A safe room is a good location for those old cell phones that have been disgarded for a upgrade model … they can still call 911 even without a currently paid call plan …. just keep the battery charged and you’re ready to go ….

    Reply
  • kevin August 6, 2015, 7:18 pm

    2 problems with this what are those in apartments supposed to do in this case and those on fixed income are pretty much screwed with cost

    Reply
    • irishdutchuncle August 7, 2015, 5:06 am

      the short answer: be prepared to run away.
      few people have the income to do survivalism the way we fantasize about it. you have to leave if there is going to be a storm surge, or a fire. under ground, is the only place to get through fallout or a tornado. if your building has no basement, you need to think about moving to a place which does.

      Reply
  • TPsnodgrass August 7, 2015, 4:42 pm

    If, we lived in Tornado Alley, I would definitely invest in a tornado/storm “safe room”. Since we do not, I do not and never have subscribed to the “safe room” concept. In our family, we subscribe to the “safe house” concept. We’ve made it extremely difficult to “break in” undetected, and have multiple “ambush” (defensible spaces) sites within our home, where intruders will be interdicted. Their movement through the home is proof enough of their “violent intent” to commit great bodily harm or death to anyone IN our home legally. WE can articulate to any jury in our state, our fear of being victimized by these fearless(stupid) intruders who continued their predation upon us, until we were left with no choice but to cause an immediate cessation of their predation permanently. We have multiple layers of perimeter intrusion, that automatically will show any jury that we were being preyed upon by these violent thug/s. Screw the duty to retreat. Learn HOW to “play the Jury Game”, and play it by THEIR rules! We win every single time. Think creatively and like a prospective juror would. This thwarts the shenanigans of vicious race-baiting prosecutors like Ms. Mosby in Baltimore. Make the DA’s office PROVE you were or had “malicious intent”. Let the predators actions speak for themselves.(to the jury) If we can do it in our home, anyone can, it doesn’t cost a whole lot of money either.

    Reply
    • Wes August 7, 2015, 4:59 pm

      Well said.

      Reply
    • taxn2poverty August 8, 2015, 3:28 pm

      TP, that’s the style, that’s the style. God bless you!

      Reply
  • X August 7, 2015, 8:31 pm

    Got 3 safe rooms. The one with the gun safe and which ever two the doberman and pit bull decide to sleep in. The Doberman is one protective girl too.

    Reply
  • Too Sad August 9, 2015, 11:25 pm

    I have been a victim. I don’t suggest anyone take this seriously but if I had a weapon I don’t have any firearms but if I did and some band of criminals invaded my home putting me at risk, if I shot and killed them I would probably be so traumatized that a trial would finish me off. So for the sake of my health, I’m no spring chicken, I’d cut up those bastards, grind them into a slurpy and flush them down the toilet or mix them into my organic soil for the vegetables. Of course I’m just kidding. But common NSA, those laws designed to keep people from needlessly killing are probably already backfiring but you’re not aware because now truly innocent victims are afraid to report home invasions that resulted with their injuring or killing intruders. If this random robbery is perpetuated by a stranger, you would have no way to connect the invaded to the disappearance of somebody who is probably homeless, transient, or in-and-out of prison. Some laws defy common intelligence. I know you guys at the NSA are super smart, so come up with a solution to a problem that begs for a better answer.

    Reply
  • Too Sad August 10, 2015, 1:20 am

    I have been a victim. I don’t suggest anyone take this seriously but if I had a weapon I don’t have any firearms but if I did and some band of criminals invaded my home putting me at risk, if I shot and killed them I would probably be so traumatized that a trial would finish me off. So for the sake of my health, I’m no spring chicken, I’d cut up those bastards, grind them into a slurpy and flush them down the toilet or mix them into my organic soil for the vegetables. Of course I’m just kidding. But common NSA, those laws designed to keep people from needlessly killing are probably already backfiring but you’re not aware because now truly innocent victims are afraid to report home invasions that resulted with their injuring or killing intruders. If this random robbery is perpetuated by a stranger, you would have no way to connect the invaded to the disappearance of somebody who is probably homeless, transient, or in-and-out of prison. Some laws defy common intelligence. I know you guys at the NSA are super smart, so come up with a solution to a problem that begs for a better answer.
    If you can’t fight and you can’t or won’t shoot: hiding is instinct, fight or flight, so as a last resort, ya, if I could afford it, I would have all kinds of ways to hide. Put in fake disguised doors to kids rooms at least. Make doors look like bookcases. It’s been done for hundreds of years. There’s no shame in hiding. It is called survival. There is a time to hide and a time to fight. Sometimes we choose, sometimes the choice is forced upon us.

    Reply
    • irishdutchuncle August 10, 2015, 11:49 am

      it’s not a “backfire” Too, it is their solution.

      if you are powerless against petty criminals, you are powerless against “them”.

      Reply
  • BamaMan August 19, 2015, 3:03 pm

    My safe room has a 9mm and two extra clips in the bed side table.

    Reply
  • Josh B. September 13, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Why spend the cash, time and space on a safe room? The basement is good for weather disasters and a loaded 12 gauge(or your weapon of choice) will send most criminals running, and put the rest in the ground. I think safe rooms are an interesting concept and inherently cool, yet unless I become a millionaire it is not something I need.

    Reply
  • architect September 28, 2015, 5:39 pm

    We are in the profession of building bunkers, salerooms, hardened homes and hardened government and commercial installations.
    There is some value to the content of this article but there are several elements of successful safe-room design left unmentioned.
    For example. depending on the purpose of the safe-room, almost always we are specifying CBRN air filtration with over-pressure for our clients.
    You can survive just minutes without clean air, only a few days without water and a few weeks without food.
    Another topic, human sanitation.
    You simply must have a means for safely disposing of human waste, (urine, excrement, possible others…) otherwise your shelter becomes uninhabitable within 24 hours or less and becomes a site for disease to overcome your group..
    Also, for any stay within a safe-room over 72 hours, a hardened, continuous source of protected fresh water is essential. Sure you can have a water tank with a limited supply, but at some point the water use calculation favors another method of water supply.
    Finally, energy. you can stay in a safe-room as long as your supply of clean air, water and human sanitation system remains operational. These essentials may be dependent on a source of electricity.
    Engineering the correct off grid energy source must also be factored in.

    We want your project to succeed, because History has been very unkind to refugees.

    We are HardenedStructures.com

    Reply
  • Jack Carter November 6, 2015, 6:58 pm

    I knew a extremely wealthy man who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to virtually convert his home in Atlanta into one big safe room.
    About 2 months after the project was completed he and his wife were attacked and robbed in broad daylight at a very upscale shopping mall.
    You just can’t hide from crime.
    My friends could have put a lot less money into buying a good carry weapon and be safe where ever they went.

    Reply

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