Shelter from the Storm: Above Ground Shelters

Last July employees at the Geneva Gas District realized they needed a better severe weather plan.

A tornado blew open the doors and ripped off parts of the roof. People in the office took shelter under their desks. Now they can retreat to their safe room.

"These shelters save lives. You buy it and hope you never have to use it," said Kevin Julian, Storm Shelters of Northwest Florida.

They're an all welded, reinforced, thick steel unit.

"The doors are made out of plate steel. All of our shelters have rounded corners. we bend them which reinforces them. it also makes them more aesthetically pleasing," said Jullian.

These doors weigh about 350 pounds, but you can open it with just the push of a finger. Don't let that fool you. A four point locking system ensure this door stays closed in up to an F5 tornado.

These shelters will hold from 3 to 100 people and can be installed almost anywhere by bolting them down to a concrete slab.

"Most people we put them in the garage or a new construction. In there you don't even have to go outside to get away from the storm. So you're more apt to use it and not get hurt running outside in the storm," said Julian.

There are other things you should consider when shopping around for a shelter.

"As you get older, is it going to be in five years or ten years are you going to be able to navigate steps or be able to lift over your head a heavy door. If someone is put in a wheelchair at least you'll always be able to get in the one above ground. On these the good thing is the door opens inward. So if something falls in front of the door you'll always be able to open it," said Julian.

Before you write the check be sure the shelter is Texas Tech approved.

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