40 Most Important Items to have In a Fallout Shelter to Keep you Alive!

Here are 40 most important items in a fallout shelter to keep you alive.  They are separated by 8 essential groups of Items to have with you when SHTF. Please leave a comment if you know of more things that you personally find useful.

Click here for DIY project information on how to build a Survival bunker – Videos

1 – Stock Up On Food, Medical Supplies, and personal hygiene Items

Everyone should have an emergency food stock hidden away somewhere safe.  This emergency food supply should last you at least 72 hours or until help arrives.  It could also happen that support doesn’t come, due to the destabilizing geopolitical climate.  In this case,  you might need to extend your rations to last you two weeks and beyond.

Make sure to stock a good stainless steel pocket knife if you need to open bags or cans.  You might even need it for a multitude of purposes after you make it back on the surface.

We can purchase premade emergency food supply kits from Amazon.  You can also go the DIY route by following our complete emergency food supply guide by clicking HERE.

Medical Supplies

It’s also recommended to have some medical supplies such as a first aid kit for your survival shelter.  You might need to wash your wounds quickly and bandage yourself if you’ve been exposed to high doses of radiations while making your way to safety.  There are many First Aid Kits to choose from on Amazon.  We recommend the kit from Be Smart Get Prepared.  Buy a first aid kit that can accommodate up to 100 people.  You might think it’s too much but remember, you don’t know how long you will have to stay in your basement or shelter.  When its safe to finally come out, you don’t know how long it will be until things get back to normal.

First Aid Instruction Booklet

Find a first aid instruction booklet (Amazon Link) and learn how to bandage wounds, administer CPR, treat burns and treat shock.  You can purchase them online or by contacting your local red cross.

Prescription Medications

If you’re on prescription medications, you should keep a small stock of your daily required medicines to store in your shelter.  This way you won’t have to come out of your fallout shelter looking for your prescriptions and risk exposing yourself to more radiation.


Keep a stock of multivitamins in your fallout shelter. It could be a while until you can resume your usual eating habits.  Proper multivitamins will mitigate the lack of vitamins in your system.  Your body uses vitamins for a range of metabolic processes ranging from digestion to proper nerve function.  A few inexpensive bottles of vitamins is all that’s required.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene items might not be an essential thing to have tucked away in your fallout shelter; but if you and your family are there for any length of time, you’ll want your everyday items.  Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste and a few rolls of toilet paper should suffice.

These items are things that we all take for granted, but you will certainly recognize its importance when you have to live without them for an extended period, especially the toilet paper.

Sanitary Wipe In Tablet Form
Multi-Purpose Wipes Just Add Water for fallout shelter.

These things are unreal in its practicality and usefulness! I even wrote an entire review for this product because I was so impressed and also why more people aren’t talking about these sanitary wipes! They are the size and shape of a peppermint and all you do is expose it to a few drops of water and you’ve got yourself a strong, durable wipe to wash your hands and face with.

You could even wash yourself entirely with one of these wipes. There are so many other ways you could use these for other than a fallout shelter. I have some in my backpack when I’m hiking and I also always have some in my car if I need to wipe something clean.

Click here for more information and pricing from Amazon!

Powdered Lime and Bucket

Powdered Lime and a bucket will be your toilet If you don’t have a functioning septic system to accommodate your fallout shelter.  The bucket is obviously your toilet bowl, and after you’ve done your business, you can proceed by pouring some powdered lime in the bucket.  That will prevent the toxic foul smell caused by the content in the bucket.

Emergency preparative Kit

You can build your own emergency kit, or you can directly buy one that’s already packed with an abundance of useful items. If you chose to build one yourself, you would need a flashlight and batteries, plastic sheeting and duck tape, dust mask and a wrench to shut off utilities such as gas and water.

Click here for a 4 Person Premium Survival Kit with 72-Hours of Emergency Preparedness Supplies from Amazon.

2 – Crank up the radio

A crank radio functions similarly to conventional hand-powered generators. These generators produce power by using a magnet and a coil of conductive wire. By wrapping the coil of wire around the magnet and spinning it, creating a current of electricity; Voila, a fully functional radio. It’s imperative to inform yourself during these crises.  Having a crank radio won’t leave you to rely on electricity or possible corroded batteries.

American Red Cross Crank Radio for Emergency Preparedness.

The American Red Cross FRX3 (Amazon Link) is one of the best crank radio geared explicitly for all types of emergency. The FRX3 is a preparedness radio with AM/FM, all seven NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) weather band stations and the “Alert” system.

When the “Alert” function is on, the radio will automatically broadcast emergency event information.  The alert system will also give you weather alerts for your areas such as hurricanes, tornadoes and severe storms.

Also, remember your radio needs to be stored in a nested Faraday cage to prevent damage from EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse).  Wrap the radio in multiple layers of plastic and aluminum foil, and/or place it in a metal tin with a tight-fitting lid.

3 – Radiation Detectors

NukAlertTM nuclear radiation detector / monitor (keychain attachable) alarm

Before making your way to the outside world from the safety of your radioactive fallout shelter, you will want to have a radiation detector.  These machines make it possible to detect if there is still a high amount of residual radiation lingering around.

Radiation detectors could be the difference between life and a slow painful death if you’re torn between staying put in your shelter or making your way to the nearest safe zone.

Mazur Instruments PRM-9000 Geiger Counter and Nuclear Radiation Contamination Detector and Monitor.

There are radiation detectors that are even small enough to fit on your keychain such as the NukAlertTM nuclear radiation detector / monitor (keychain attachable) alarm from Amazon.  These devices are useful if you live close to a nuclear power reactor.  If a hazardous meltdown was to occur then your radiation detector immediately warn you that there are radioactive ionizing particles that began to form in the air surrounding you.

You can also buy more advanced detectors that will tell you exactly how many rems are in the air or on surrounding objects.   They are probably worth a look because the prices on these devices have gone down considerably in the past few years making it affordable for anyone to have one in their household.

Click here for a more advance radiation detector from Amazon.

Kearny fallout meter

A Kearny Fallout Meter is designed in such a way that someone with normal mechanical ability would be able to construct one. You can build it before or during a nuclear attack if you never got around to buying a proper radiation meter. Follow this link for a free PDF detailing step by step on how to build one.   Also, follow the link below for some of the best information on nuclear attacks and fallout shelters; it also has instructions on how to build a Kearny Fallout meter.

4 – KI Potassium Iodide Tablets

Iodide Tablets (Amazon Link) can be a lifesaver if you find yourself exposed to nuclear radiation fallout.  This explanation of what these pills are is directly from the CDC website. “KI (potassium iodide) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, thus protecting this gland from radiation injury.  The thyroid gland is the part of the body that is most sensitive to radioactive iodine.

People should take KI (potassium iodide) only on the advice of public health or emergency management officials. There are health risks associated with taking KI. KI (potassium iodide) does not keep radioactive iodine from entering the body and cannot reverse the health effects caused by radioactive iodine once the thyroid is damaged.

    • KI (potassium iodide) only protects the thyroid, not other parts of the body, from radioactive iodine.

Iodide tablets cannot protect the body from radioactive elements other than radioactive iodine—if radioactive iodine is not present, taking KI is not protective and could cause harm.   Table salt and foods rich in iodine do not contain enough iodine to block radioactive iodine from getting into your thyroid gland.

Do not use table salt or food as a substitute for KI.  Do not use dietary supplements that contain iodine in place of KI (potassium iodide). They can be harmful and non-efficacious. Only use products that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).” That statement is directly from the CDC; we should all take what they say above anyone else online claiming to be a so-called survival expert.

How Iodide tablet works and Who Should Take Them

Potassium iodide will block radioactive iodine from entering your thyroid.

Potassium iodide will block radioactive iodine from entering your thyroid.  If you take one of these tablets, the stable iodine gets absorbed by the thyroid and when full, can’t consume more.  That means, if you expose yourself to radioactive iodine after flooding your thyroid with these pills, your thyroid will reject the radioactive iodine for 24 hours.

Adults over the age of 40 years of age should avoid taking iodide unless told to by the public health organization or any other emergency broadcast;  as they are less at risk of getting thyroid cancer and more at risk of having allergic reactions and adverse side effect.  Pregnant and breastfeeding women are the people with the highest priority to receive a recommended dose of iodide tablets since the fetus and infant are more susceptible to having thyroid cancer when they get older.

Infants and children are also a priority because they are too at a high risk of developing cancer.  Young adults from the ages of 18 to 24 are the least at risk but should take the recommended dose if there are enough pills.

women, breastfeeding Iodide pills can be purchased very inexpensively through Amazon.  You should always buy more then one box because you don’t know how much you and your family will need and if you’re also helping other people, one box could be empty before you know it. Most Iodide tablet pills have a shelf life of around five years so make sure to change them out before they expire.

5 – Heating Source

Kerosene heater for emergency fallout shelter.

The average person can only survive 3 hours in dangerous weather condition. If you live somewhere in a colder climate, then you should already have some form of heat source stocked away in your Nuclear radioactive fallout shelter.

A portable heater should already be an Item you obtained because you certainly do not want to be looking for sources of heat after a nuclear detonation, or when the fallout is on its way to your location.  We recommend a high-quality, kerosene-fuelled appliance available through Amazon or your nearest hardware store.

These types of heating sources seem to offer the most satisfactory features.  Do not use any gasoline or other volatile liquids because they are far too hazardous for use in confined spaces.

6 – Sleeping Bags and Blankets

Sleeping bags and blankets for emergency fallout shelter.

If you live somewhere cold, It’s important to stay warm. If you don’t have a generator or a good source of heat; you will have to rely on sleeping bags and blankets to keep you and your family warm; while you wait in your emergency fallout shelter.

We also recommend buying portable bedding in case you need to bring them with you if you need to change location. Sometimes you can only bring the bare minimum of supplies.  Good camping bedding gear will do the trick.  You can easily find good quality ones at a reasonable price from Amazon.

7 – Buy a Generator

Generator for emergency nuclear fallout shelter.

A hand-cranked or a more advanced electric generator can be the difference between freezing to death in pitch black chaos or drinking a hot cup of coffee while you wait in your emergency fallout shelter until the chaos outside subside.

Though they can be a bit expensive, it could give you endless options for heating, cooking, lighting.  A generator could power your entire subterranean fallout shelter.

You can either go with a gas powered inverter portable generator (Amazon aff. Link) or a more traditional type of portable gas-powered generator from Amazon.  Either one will do in an emergency situation.  One significant difference between the two is the price; typically inverter generators tend to be more expensive.

With an inverter generator, the engine connects to an efficient alternator, which produces AC electricity, just like a conventional generator. A rectifier is then used to convert the AC power to DC. Capacitors are then used to smooth it out to a certain degree.

8 – Hazmat Suit

Hazmat suit for nuclear fallout.

It’s imperative to point out that a hazmat suit will NOT protect you against radiation fallout in the first days of a major catastrophe.  A hazmat suit will protect you from the radioactively contaminated particles and object outside.

You will encounter these particles when its time to leave your shelter.  Everything outdoors will be highly radioactive. The suits will prevent any contaminated objects from coming in direct contact with the skin.

Hazmat suit for nuclear fallout.

There are different kinds of hazmat suits for different types of environmental protections.  Some suits will even protect you against a dirty bomb when you’re in the evacuation process.  The demron full bodysuit with radiation shielding technology would work well for such an event.

Click here for Lakeland ChemMax 4 TES Level B Taped Seam Encapsulated Suit for Amazon price.


Notable Mentions

Some Items are not the most important to keep in your fallout shelter, but they are items you will be happy to have with you.  Most of these were given to us by some Reddit survival and prepping followers.  We appreciate their contribution.

Board Games and Decks of Cards

Board games and cards are nice to have to keep people entertained while being stuck in a fallout shelter for an extended period.  If you’re inside one those shelters or simply in your basement, boredom tends to make your mind race and make people anxious.  It’s better to stay calm and collected while in these crisis scenarios to prevent making irreversible mistakes.

Indoor Plants

On your way to your fallout shelter, think of bringing some Indoor plants with you.  Plants can act as a natural air freshener since the air in your shelter could become stale rather quickly.   Various plants can also help with mental health issues that can arise in times of crisis. Also, sprouts, microgreens, vegetables, and herbs are all great ideas to keep things fresh.


It certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a few books in your fallout shelter to keep your mind occupied.  After you finish reading some of your survival guides, store them in your shelter so you can re-read things that you might have missed that could help you survive.

If you have an eBook, keep your survival guides loaded in the memory so you always have them with you.  EBooks are capable of storing thousands of books to make it useful after the end of the world.

Click here for DIY project information on how to build a bunker – Videos

Final Tips – Keep The Prepping to Yourself

It might be logical to keep your emergency shelter, and prepping to yourself;  unless you want a horde of people looking for help when chaos erupts.  Tell only the people that you want with you in times of crisis.  Doing this will assure you have enough food, water, and medical supplies to last for the required amount of time.

You should start prepping now before any happens.  We live in a world where there are reports of a new terrorist attack on a weekly basis.  It’s not outside the realm of possibility that someday a terrorist would get their hands on a nuclear device; and turn a large city into dust.  By preparing yourself, you will ingress your chances of survival significantly.

People often say there’s no point in preparing for such an attack because no one would survive.  That assumption is false.  There are survivors from the Hiroshima nuclear explosion that lived a long and healthy life well into their nighties; And with these important Items in a Fallout Shelter, you will have a much better chance of surviving.





One thought on “40 Most Important Items to have In a Fallout Shelter to Keep you Alive!

  1. Do they make cheap seismographs?
    Can you can feel an N-bomb in a fallout shelter?
    (The seismograph is to wait until there is no more N-bomb activity on the planet.)


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