More people turning to residential storm shelters


MONROE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- In this part of the United States, we’re pretty used to severe weather. And the threat of Tornadoes.

Recent storms in the area are prompting folks to invest in storm shelters.

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When installing a tornado shelter, the hope is never to have to use it.

But the peace of mind has a lot of people adding the new addition.

When severe weather strikes safety becomes a concern.

And with recent storms tearing through Mississippi more people are turning to personal storm shelters.

“We are seeing a lot more homeowners and people just on their own saying hey I need to get one or they’re building a new home, and they decided to put one inside their home we see that a lot more than we used to in previous years,” said Allen Lee.

FEMA has developed building regulations for shelters, so they can better withstand the force of a tornado.

Above ground shelters like Tina Hawkin’s are anchored into place either into the ground or a concrete pad.

“Some sites will have a concrete pad where they are set on. Some pad locations, there will be just stone. Sometimes it really just they take off the topsoil. Some sites take very little to no preparation and then we basically install them depending on if they’re concrete we will actually anchor them to the concrete, or if they’re out in just normal soil we will anchor them with anchors as well there,” said Lee.

Allen Lee thinks the reason more people are buying a safe room comes down to one emotion… Fear.

“I would’ve thought many years ago before I had some strong storms hit the south we used to listen to the tones go off and go back to bed but not today I pretty much we keep our eyes on it seems like they’re more prevalent and they’re stronger than they’ve been in the past but I think there are a lot more people keying into that,” said Lee.

Lee and his family have seen the destructive force of a tornado.

For him the choice was easy.

“Well, I want my family to be safe. I’ve got two kids and a spouse, we got a 3 x 5 garage model. We decided with that model just the fact that we don’t have to go outside and get it. Usually is inside… then it got so bad we decided we want to tough it out of the home. If we got to go outside close as possible to get into,” said Lee.

Lee says they are seeing an increase in people adding safe rooms when building new homes.