Preparing for Disaster: Getting your Basement set up for Sheltering in Place

Home food storage room. Various jars with Home Canning Fruits and Vegetables jam on shelves

As the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to spread throughout the world and now the United States, families across the globe have been asked to practice social distancing. For many, that means spending a great deal of time at home. It also means shopping less. In order to shop less, many are purchasing items in bulk. This is a great way to minimize your exposure and social encounters, but it also requires that you have more space to store things at home! We’ve gotten a number of inquiries about finishing basements so that they are safe for food storage. Basements can be a great place to store food and dry goods, but many are not suitable due to water issues or mold. Getting these spaces set up to store food and emergency supplies is always a prudent decision, even when we aren’t dealing with a world pandemic. Other events such as storms or power outages can be cause for ensuring your basement is set up to shelter you and your family and provide emergency supplies should it become necessary.

Once you waterproof your basement, this area is great to use for shelter, among many other things, because it is underground. It’s also a great place to store large quantities of canned or jarred food, dry goods, and other emergency essentials.

We’ve written this post to offer some simple tips that will help you prepare your basement as a shelter and a place to store goods. 

Exterior view of an egress window in a basement bedroom. These windows are required as part of the USA fire code for basement bedrooms

Ensure Your Basement is Sound

Are there cracks in your basement wall or floor?

Do you see water on your floors or walls?

These signs are typically indicative of foundation or drainage issues. The first step to ensuring you have a sound shelter is to make sure you are working with a stable environment.

We can help you waterproof your basement and seal any cracks that may be on your walls and floors. You don’t want water seeping through your basement walls.

It can damage your possessions, and it can even lead to dangerous mold growth if the source of the moisture is not fixed.

Should mold get into your basement, we can also safely remove it and clean your home to ensure that it doesn’t come back again. 

basement shelf showing lots of glass jars and canned goods
Cellar inside with vegetables and row of jars on shelves

Think About Air Quality 

Basements that have mold growth, or water damage could also have poor air quality. If you are planning on sheltering in your basement, you need to ensure that the air you are breathing is good.

Simple air purifiers are more than capable of ensuring the air in your basement is clean. If you find mold growth, it is important to deal with it immediately. Breathing in certain mold spores can be fatal.

Our team of mold remediation experts not only removes the mold from your home, cleans your possessions, furniture, floors, walls, etc affected by mold, but they also ensure that the air is safe to breath after the mold is removed.

Don’t wait to call a mold remediation expert if you see growth in your basement. Mold seriously affects the quality of the air, and it is very dangerous to breath. So before you shelter, make sure your basement’s air is safe. 

Prepare a Disaster or Shelter Kit 

It is a wise idea to create a disaster or shelter kit for your basement that is always ready in case you need it. Here are some items that we recommend including in your shelter kit:

  • Water (1 gallon per day per person – 3 day supply)
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries 
  • Non-perishable food items (3 day supply)
  • First aid kit
  • Can opener 
  • Wrench 
  • Radio 
  • Pet food 
  • Cash
  • Medications 
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches 
  • Paper plates 
  • Plastic utensils 
  • Books, games, and other sources of entertainment
  • Sleeping bags/warm blankets
  • Anything else you deem essential

It is important to keep your kit in a cool, dry place so that your items don’t get wet or moldy. Be sure to keep your eye on the expiration dates for the items in your kit and replace as needed. 

The current situation involving the novel Coronavirus is not ideal, but if precautions are taken there will be no reason to panic. Now is the time to set up your basement as a shelter.

Make sure your foundation is solid and that there is no mold or water present, and you will be in good shape to shelter in your basement should the need arise.

Remember, no matter what is happening it is always good to have a disaster kit and plan prepared so that you can act swiftly should the need arise.

If you’re dealing with mold, water, or cracks in your basement, contact us! We will work quick and hard to ensure that your basement is completely sound and safe to shelter in.

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