by Texas Homesteader ~
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I have a healthy respect/fear for tornadic storms! Last year RancherMan arranged to have an underground shelter installed for me so I can feel safe when those winds start blowing. How much do I love him for that!!?
I’ve written about the installation of our Storm Shelter. So if you’re thinking of having an underground shelter installed be sure to check that post out to see some of the considerations we made.
I also published another post about what we decided to Stock In Our Storm Shelter. If you already have a storm shelter this post shares what we decided to store down there. (and what we decided NOT to store).
But now that the shelter’s been installed & stocked, what kind of upkeep does it need? C’mon & I’ll show you what I’m doing now to prepare for those spring storms!
Clearing The Storm Shelter
I have vivid childhood memories of rushing down into a storm shelter in the middle of the night. The shelter was dark and the musty smell & presence of all those spider webs really gave me the heebie-jeebies!
When RancherMan had our storm shelter installed I decided that perhaps it would bring me comfort when rushing underground during those storms to have little doubt that there were no critters in the corners waiting to pounce me.
So I took advantage of some unseasonably warm late-winter weather and headed to the shelter. I was armed with a broom, dustpan and a damp soapy rag.
The leaves that blow through the door each time it’s opened have accumulated underneath the stairs. So I started there. I swept the steps and also underneath the stairs to remove the leaves and dirt.
And although our vents are covered with screen, I was dismayed to see spider webs. There were even a couple of dead spiders. They have to go!
Sweeping Out The Crap!
Although it probably wasn’t necessary, I swept the walls, the ceiling & inside of those air vents. It didn’t initially look like there was too much grime down there I was surprised to see a healthy little stack of crap when I was through sweeping!
Once everything was swept I took my soapy rag and wiped down the container that holds our supplies. I decided last year that all of our supplies should be stored in this huge * Igloo 100-Qt cooler. That way I could rest assured nothing was hiding in any of our supplies. Plus I wanted the floor to remain absolutely clear! And of course the cooler serves a double purpose of being additional seating if needed.
Finally it’s time to check our supplies. I replaced the bottled water with fresh water. It’s also a good time to replace the batteries in our *Battery-Powered Fan. RancherMan & I figure if it gets stuffy down in the shelter a little air circulating would add comfort.
I have a container of *Damp-Rid in case it starts to smell musty in the shelter, but so far it’s new enough the damp-rid hasn’t been needed. And our experiences last year made me decide to store a large beach towel down there since we can arrive to the shelter cold & soaking wet.
I also decided to add chalk in case our neighbors come into the shelter with us. They have two young children in the family. If they start feeling anxious I could let them draw on the floor with chalk to divert their attention.
We also decided we needed a *hand-crank flashlight (no batteries needed) to leave in the cooler so we wouldn’t have to worry about batteries.
So there ya go – the shelter has been swept and tidied and supplies have been refreshed. If we do need to rush down there to escape a storm in the middle of the night I’ll feel comfortable knowing there are no unexpected surprises!
Other Storm-Related Posts:
- Our Underground Storm Shelter
- What To Stock In Our Underground Storm Shelter
- Spring Maintenance Chores For Our Storm Shelter
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