Storm Shelter Options to Stay Safe this Season

LOWELL, Ark. -- A northwest Arkansas shelter company has seen an influx of calls families looking to install shelters.

"We have more severe weather coming right now... People just want them done as fast as they can get them done, because they want that peace of mind for them and their family."

After recent devastation is Moore, Oklahoma, several folks from Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri are searching for storm shelter options.

"Whether outside in the ground, in your garage in the ground, above ground storm shelters, there are all kinds out there," said Colten Wiles with Signature Shelters.

When a tornado touches down, the best place to be is below ground. But, construction might reveal rock or mud under your home.

"Maybe one out of every 50... you actually have a big hurdle that you have to overcome."

The unwelcome find can put a stop to construction, which means more money spent.

"You don't want to scare people off with that, but this is Northwest Arkansas. There is limestone, there is sandstone."

For families on a tight budget, Wiles knows cost is a concern and there are no government incentives to buffer the blow.

"Anywhere from $4,700 all the way up to $6,500 depending on what you have to do."

So if a storm shelter is not a possibility, know where to take cover. Also, remember to D.U.C.K. Get Down to the lowest level, Under something sturdy at the Center of the house and Keep away from windows.

"The center of the home, if that's all you have, that's where you need to be."

And after deadly tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Wiles is working to help save lives.

"Fortunately, we have not had a big massive destruction like that, and hopefully we never do, but that's just miles away from us. Anything can happen."

As for a timeline on getting a storm shelter installed, the quicker you order it, the quicker it will be installed. Wiles' business saw a huge influx of calls right after the Moore tornado, so call soon if you want a shelter put in during this severe weather season.

Moore, Oklahoma is planning to rebuild. Looking back at the 2011 Joplin tornado, 7,000 homes were destroyed. According to the City of Joplin, 20-percent of homes added a storm shelter, but that does not include homes with basements and free standing shelters.

Unlike Northwest Arkansas, where the majority of homes are on slab foundations, many of the destroyed homes in Joplin had basement foundations they re-built on so they did not need a storm shelter addition.

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