A Closer Look At Storm Shelter Options For Your Home

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

City leaders in Moore, Oklahoma have said the death toll from Monday’s tornado would have been higher if so many families didn't have storm shelters.

Since Monday, local storm shelter providers say they've seen a rush of people ready to get their own safe rooms.

"50 calls a day for the last two days,” Eric Stolfi with Storm Defense Shelters said.

“Unfortunately we do, it's things like that spur so much interest in them,” Randy Hazen with Hazen Construction Services said.

We found two schools of thought when it comes to what kind of shelter is best. Some say underground shelters protect better against extreme winds and flying debris.

"When you see tornadoes and devastation like in Moore, it's only the concrete left everything else is blown away,” Stolfi said.

Others tell us an above ground safe room is just as safe, plus your family is less likely to get trapped under collapsed structures.

"They're just a lot easier for people to get and out of in a hurry,” Hazen said.

Eric Stolfi with Storm Defense Shelters says an underground shelter starts at about $4,700. Randy Hazen with Hazen Construction Services says the above ground room starts at about $6,000. Both can be installed pretty much anywhere on your property.

Some of viewers asked us online: what if you live in an apartment or mobile home park and can't build your own shelter? A Sedgwick county representative says there are no public shelters in Wichita or Sedgwick county. They say plan ahead now and make arrangements. If the property where you live doesn't have one, maybe a school or church nearby does.

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