Essentials for every disaster prep kit

It is important to always be prepared during tornado season because you cannot really predict when forces of nature like severe thunderstorms and tornadoes might rise up and make trouble. In the event of a severe storm or tornado, the best place to take cover is an emergency shelter that meets safety standards.

 If you already have an emergency or storm shelter, stocking it with emergency supplies and other essentials, which will be required if a tornado hits your home, is the next step. Once a tornado hits, it could leave you and your family stranded, possibly for days or even weeks.

 Make sure you have the following things in your shelter before the emergency crews arrive at your area.

 Alarm Beacon

During and after a tornado, flashing alarm beacons can offer the utmost degree of signaling effect. Evacuation alarms for chemical spills, fire and toxic gas leaks are often equipped with a flashing alarm beacon. Moving machinery and structures like doors, gates, lifting equipment, and service vehicles often use them for warning.

An extra loud alarm like the Screaming Meanie 220 Alarm Clock can also serve a similar purpose. In fact, it has been designed to be used as an Audio Signaling Beacon. One of the features of this continuous, high frequency, piercing alarm is that every 5 minutes; it will sound a loud signal that will last for 10 seconds. This is an excellent safety feature for anyone stranded in an emergency situation where cell photos are not working and help needs to be summoned, such as during and/or after tornadoes. The volume of the alarm can be set to three different levels, namely 70db, 90db and 120db. Even if a tornado destroys the power lines, you will also be able to use the in the dark since it is equipped with an indigo backlit display.

 Long-lasting food items

It is ideal if you stock your emergency room with food and water that will last anywhere between five and seven days, feeding every member of your family, including yourself and any animals you may have. Somewhere between 2000 and 2500 calories should be allotted to each person. Make sure the foods you stock your emergency shelter with are non-perishable, such as:

Canned fruits and vegetables

Canned meat and seafood



Dried fruit

Energy or granola bars

Meals Ready to Eat (MREs)

Peanut butter

Foods that are non-perishable and have a long shelf-life will not expire any time soon. Similarly, Meals Ready to Eat can last for a couple of years as long as you do not open them.

Sufficient Water

Your emergency shelter should always have water. You should also regularly change out the water to prevent stagnation and preferably even stock your emergency shelter with bottled water that has been specifically treated to last for a long-period time. Bottled water bottles have expiry dates, so they should be used before they expire, and you should replace them with new ones. For each person who may have to take shelter, there should be several gallons of water.

Basic Medicine

The emergency shelter should also be stocked with a first-aid kit that must contain antibiotics, basic antiseptic gels, pain relievers and other basic medications. The medicines should also be changed out once they are near their expiration date. During a storm or tornado, reaching a hospital may not be possible; any medications that might be required for extra contacts, medical conditions and other basics should be stashed in the shelter. Since accidents and injuries can occur during a storm or tornado, the risk of infection and life-threatening conditions can be reduced.

Baby Items

If you have a baby, make sure you also stash baby food, formula, diapers, medicine and wipes in the emergency shelter. If you have older children, stock items that will keep them entertained and occupied, such as games, magnetized toys, puzzles, etc.

Basic Camping Gear

If a storm or tornado ends up damaging your home, you will need camping gear both during and after the incident. Make sure the tent that you use is large enough to house your entire family. You should also have blankets, and sleeping bags stashed in the shelter for all of your family members.

 Warm Clothes

During or after a storm or tornado, your heating system may also malfunction. To ensure that your entire family can remain warm, make sure there is a wide range of warm clothes in your emergency shelter.

Batteries & Flashlights

Flashlights can come in handy during an emergency situation. So, there should be several flashlights and plenty of batteries stashed in your storm shelter. So, in case of a power outage, especially if you do not have a backup generator or if the one you have stops working for whatever reason, you will have some light to navigate within the shelter.


You end up getting stuck in your shelter because of debris, you can clear it using a hammer, and you can even use it to make noise in order to alert rescuers.

Cell Phone & Cell Phone Accessories

Although cellular service may not even be up during and after a storm or tornado, it will likely be back up eventually. So, make sure that you have your cell phone along with additional batteries and/or a battery operated charger with you so that you place calls for help if you find yourself unable to move debris, snow or other obstacles.

Pet Food & Supplies:

If you have furry four-legged friends who will also be taking shelter with you, make sure there is enough pet food in your emergency shelter as well as a leash and toys.

Personal Documents

As mentioned, a storm or tornado may end up damaging your home, so it would be better if you store important personal documents like your birth certificates, home deeds, insurance documents, etc. in your emergency shelter. This way, you will not end up losing them in such an emergency situation.


If you do not wish to face the severe consequences when a harsh storm or tornado strikes and you want to ensure yours and your family’s survival, then it is of utmost important that you properly stock your emergency shelter. If you do not wish to face the severe consequences of a harsh storm or tornado, and you want to ensure yours and your family’s survival, then it is of utmost importance that you properly stock your emergency shelter.