Shelter from the Storm

The 4Warn weather team breaks into programming. There's a tornado warning. It's been spotted near your home.

Then, you hear the weather sirens alert you of the approaching twister.

"All of us around here have weather radios," said Debra Purdy, Enterprise.

But where will you seek shelter? A bathroom or closet?

Many are now turning to storm shelters.

"A lot more people have gotten interested. When you have a storm season that killed more than 300 people. It kind of gets people's attention," said Kevin Julian, Storm Shelters of Northwest Florida.

You have a few options.

You could choose to build the shelter right into your home following the FEMA 320 guidelines.

Or you could purchase a commercially manufactured shelter. There are other decisions to make from there. Do you want an above ground or below ground shelter? They can also hold from 3 to 100 people.

"We actually had one of these models April 27 in Northern Alabama that got hit with an F5 tornado. There literally was no damage at all to the shelter," said Julian.

Following this deadly storm, FEMA offered Alabama residents grants to help add a storm shelter at their home.

Debra Purdy is one hundreds in the Wiregrass to receive the funding.

"After the 2002 tornado hit I started thinking about it then. I wasn't able to financially. When FEMA came out with the grant I was thrilled," said Purdy.

While those grants are all gone, experts say it's worth the investment.

"If it saves your life, it saves your life. You buy it and hope you never have to use it. I hope every one I sell that the people never get hit by a tornado," said Julian.

But they'll be ready if the siren goes off.

You can register for one of these shelters. Just click the contest link at the top of the page and register.


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