Stocking Your Bomb Shelter

Underground Bomb Shelter

Stocking Your Bomb Shelter

The Scenario

Every year hundreds of families must deal with the tragic consequences of flooding, fires, tornadoes and other disasters. Victims must deal with situations ranging from loss of electrical power to complete loss of their homes. No matter what the situation, a disaster supply kit can aide families when tragedy strikes. Many civil defense initiatives suggest you have on hand a disaster supply kit for common emergency situations such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc. Your Nuclear Emergency Kit (NEK) should compliment the Disaster Supply Kit.


If you are not prepared, you only option may be to evacuate. That means grabbing the kids, hopping into the SUV, and heading out of town. Can you imagine the traffic jam that will ensue? If you are caught in a traffic jam, your chances for surviving a close proximity attack are minimal as the fallout will overtake the area quickly. The further downwind you are from the detonation, the better your chances for evacuation.

Being prepared is your best option since immediate safety inside your underground bomb shelter is far better than sitting for hours in traffic. If fallout starts dropping on your car, your days are numbered. There will be nothing you can do. Radiation within the fallout will penetrate your car faster than you can imagine. You could be dead within hours after exposure.

On the other hand, if you live 20 or 30 miles west of detonation, your chances for survival will be excellent – assuming the blast cloud takes the predicted west to east direction. But consider that a developing rain shower can start dumping the top of the mushroom cloud on positions west of ground zero, even with a west-to-east downwind flow. Fallout pushed to the ground via rain would mean you would get multiple times the rate of fallout compared to your counterparts east of the detonation site.

The best scenario for everyone within an area 50 miles west and 300 miles east of ground zero is one in which everyone has an underground bomb shelter. And in that shelter you should have a fully stocked Nuclear Emergency Kit (NEK).

Since many of the perishables (food, water, medicines, etc.) that will be stocked in your shelter have shelf lives, you may want to consider using the shelter as a rotating pantry.

NEK Items

Food – It is highly recommend that in addition to canned goods, dry cereals (beans, flour, rice, etc.), potatoes and other nutritious foods that you get your hands on some military Meals, Ready to Eat. Now, there are a number of copycats to the original, brown-bag MRE’s. Those will work, but usually have a low shelf life in comparison to military MRE’s. An MRE a day offers more than enough calories and nutrition for unlimited survival. There are even fruits such as peaches and strawberries in them! And, I’m not talking about the old MRE’s where such fruit came in the dry, “wafer” form. Make sure you get some of those neat little chemical “heater” packets for use in heating your MRE’s. Use your judgement on the amount of food supplies. We highly recommend our partners at Wise Food Co. We have partnered with them for $5 off your purchase and free shipping. Click here to check them out. Limited Time Offer from WiseFoodStorage.com! WISEFREESHIP5OFF for 5% discount and Free Shipping will be applied at checkout!

Water – You are going to need fresh water. Allow at least a gallon or two for each person per day. Rotate your water supplies every six months. Though 4 or 5 days will likely be sufficient, you may have to stay in the shelter for up to 30 days. That’s a lot of water! My shelter has 200 5-gallon jugs of store-bought water, which are rotated for regular daily usage. Don’t waste your time buying cases of 16-ounce bottled water. You will not have room for the hundreds of plastic bottles – especially when you trash them. Buy 5-gallon containers (or larger). View our recommended Water Barrels and Storage
solutions here

Potassium Iodide (KI) or Potassium Iodate (KIO3) tablets – Nuclear explosions produce heavy amounts of radioactive iodine. Take potassium iodide/iodate tablets immediately for thyroid protection against cancer causing radioactive iodine. Radioactive iodine is released into the air where it can be ingested or inhaled. It is absorbed by the thyroid and can cause cancer of the thyroid. If taken just before or just after the ingestion of radioactive fallout, KI or KI03 pills will saturate your thyroid, reducing the possibility of radioactive iodine being absorbed into your thyroid gland. Keep in mind that most KI or KI03 pills have a shelf life of about 5 or 6 years.

Iodine Solution (tincture of iodine or Betadine) – This is meant to be swabbed on your body (stomach, for example) for absorption into the body. Protects in a manner similar to the potassium tablets. Not as effective but better than nothing.

Light Sticks – You’ve seen them. They are the “chem-lights” that you snap and shake. Lighting will last for up to 8 hours or more. These are an inexpensive, safe alternative to candles.

5-Gallon Buckets – For use in disposing of excrement. You’re still going to have to “do business” when nature calls. Empty your excrement into a trash bag lined 5-gallon bucket.

Portable Toilet (optional) – These are the little jons you can buy from the camping section at Wal-Mart. In fact, you can get a lot of neat things at the camping section, if your budget will allow it. Make sure you get a few bottles of the blue solution used inside the porto-potty.

Plastic Trash Bags – Obviously, you will need these for disposing of trash and keeping your shelter sanitary. They’ll also be used for disposal of your poo and urine.

Bleach – A gallon bottle of bleach will suffice for sanitizing drinking water and for producing a cleaning solution. If you have been rotating your 5-gallon jugs of water on a consistent basis, you won’t need to worry about this.


Assemble the supplies you might need. Store them in an easy-to-carry container. Duffle bags, large trash cans with a snap tight lid or backpack type containers have all been used for containing the supplies you will need.

What Should a Kit Include:

There are six main categories of items that are needed in a disaster supplies kit. You and your family will need water, food, first aid supplies, tools and building supplies, clothing and bedding, and special items for family members.


  • A supply of water for drinking and cooking (One gallon per person per day). This water should be stored in sealed, unbreakable containers.
  • Have enough supply for at least three days (up to 30 days for a nuclear strike).


  • Non-perishable (canned) meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Canned juices, milk, and soups (If dehydrated remember to store extra water)
  • Salt, pepper, sugar
  • High energy foods – peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars
  • Foods for infants, elderly, or those with special diets
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Comfort/Stress foods – coffee, tea, hard candy, and sweet cereals
  • If the Electricity Goes Off….. Use perishable foods from the refrigerator first. Then use foods from the freezer. To minimize the number of times you open the freezer door, post a list of the freezer contents on the door. In a well-insulated freezer, foods will usually still have ice crystals in their center, (meaning the foods are safe to eat) for at least three days. Finally, begin to use nonperishable foods and other staples.

First Aid Kit:

You should have two first aid kits; one for your home, the other for your car. An emergency first aid kit should include:

Bandaging and Splinting Supplies:

  • Hypoallergenic adhesive tape
  • Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
  • Assorted sizes of safety pins
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • 2-inch & 3-inch sterile roll bandages
  • Triangular bandages
  • Folding splints

Medical Tools

  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Safety razor blade
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue blades and wooden applicator sticks
  • Antiseptic spray
  • Latex gloves
  • Cleansing agent/soap
  • Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Safety glasses

Non-Prescription Drugs:

  • Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Antacid (for stomach upset)
  • Laxative
  • Eye Wash
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Antiseptic or hydrogen peroxide
  • Activated charcoal and Syrup of Ipecac (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Tools and Supplies:

  • A battery-operated radio (with extra batteries)
  • A flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Paper plates and utensils, including a bottle and non-electric can opener
  • Toilet articles and sanitary needs (soaps, plastic garbage bags for waste storage, disinfectant, personal hygiene products)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Plastic Storage Containers (Baggies will work well)
  • Wrench for turning off home utilities
  • Whistle
  • Plastic Sheeting for covering holes in roofs or keeping remaining valuables dry. Plastic is also useful for shelter-in-place actions during chemical emergencies
  • City map

Clothing and Bedding:

    • At least one change of clothing per person
    • Blankets or sleeping bags (1 per person).
    • Sturdy shoes or work boots
    • Rain gear
    • Sunglasses
    • Thermal underwear (season dependant)
    • Sunglasses

Special Items:


For Baby

  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered Milk
  • Medications

For Adults

  • Prescription Medications
  • Denture Needs
  • Extra contacts and glasses
  • Personal Papers (Can be made part of the Family Disaster Plan)
  • Wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks, and bonds
  • Passports, Social Security Cards, Immunization Records
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card account numbers and company contacts
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
  • Inventory of valuable household goods

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