One of the most important elements of your family’s hurricane or disaster plan should be identifying which room in your house is the safest room to be in should disaster strike. Some newer homes are even including a built in “safe room” and many families are opting to build them as an addition to older structures as well. However, the cost to build such a structure within your home can be prohibitive for many families. By understanding what properties make a safe room so safe, you may be able to identify these elements in other rooms in your home.
Ideally, your safe room should be able to fit everyone in the family. A room with no windows somewhere in the center of your home (preferably on the ground floor) works best. A walk in closet or a bathroom can also work provided there are no windows. Small windows or windows that have been reinforced with plywood are OK, but you want to avoid being near windows that could shatter and shower the room with broken glass.
Stock the room with your emergency or disaster kit including battery operated radio and flashlights, water, non-perishable foods, non-electric can opener, any medications you require and a first aid kit. You might also want to include a mattress or pillows, if space allows as well as some extra blankets. Also include a garbage bag and some paper or plastic plates and utensils. Ideally you will want to keep food and water in a cooler or ice chest. Bring anything important (papers, identification, etc) into the safe room with you for safe keeping and bring a cell phone so that you can communicate or call for help if necessary.
You want to try to find a safe room that is near the strongest wall in your home which is typically on the ground floor somewhere near a stair well. The problem with finding a safe room in your home in terms of a hurricane is that the word ‘safe’ may end up being merely an illusion. Hurricanes put many homes at risk for flooding and water damage. For flooding, the safest place in the home would be somewhere closer to higher ground, however, being higher up may put you at risk for other elements of the storm like winds, etc. If you live in an area where flooding is common, your safest bet might be to evacuate and find a safe place within your community or close by.
Find the safest place in your home. Sun Sentinel
Dawn Henthorn. Hurricane Preparation: A Safe Place.