What to Do Before Going into Your Shelter

Before, during and after the raid

What to do before going into your Shelter

– and the help that is ready if your home is hit.

Before you leave the house, turn off all gas taps, including pilot jets, and turn off the gas at the main.  Leave buckets or cans of water and sand or earth on the front-door step, or just inside the door.  Put your stirrup pump, if you have one, where it can easily be seen,  Draw back curtains and raise blinds in upper rooms so that any fires which may be started may be visible from the outside.  This may save your house.


Dress yourself and your children (particularly your children) warmly before leaving the house, ever if the shelter is close by.  You will be going from the warm house into the cold night air, and it will take a little time before you are settled down and in bed, and you should not risk anyone getting chilled before getting into bed.  Also,  if anything happens to your house during the night, or you should have to leave your shelter, you will have something warm to put on.


Your money and any valuables or documents, such as rent book, or buildings society book, insurance policy, records of instalment payments, shaded torch. Gas Mask, Identity Card, Ration Book etc. Bottle of water, and something to drink out of. Slippers and clean stockings or socks (in case your feet get wet when going to the shelter).

Knitting or some kind of work to do. Something to read, Ear plugs.

Keep something to eat beside you, in case you get peckish in the night.

Hot drinks can be kept fairly warm by wrapping in a blankets, though a ‘hay-bottle’ is better.  Instructions for making a ‘hay-bottle’ are contained (with many other useful hints) in very helpful leaflets being issued to all who sleep in shelters.


Have your plans made
Make plans now to go and stay with friends living near, but not too near, in case your house is destroyed.  They should also arrange now to come to you if their house is knocked out.  It’s comforting to feel that everything is fixed up, just in case.

Help is ready
If you home is damaged, there is a great deal of help ready for you.  Full arrangements have been made to give you food and shelter, clothes and money if necessary and to find you somewhere to live.  If you have not been able to make arrangements with friends, go straight to the emergency Rest Centre.  The wardens and police know where it is.  Ask them.

Issued by the Ministry of Home Security

Bromley & District Times, 27th December 1940, page 3

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