Weatherford Democrat

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May 23, 2013

Shelter From a Storm

Local companies busy taking calls for storm shelters, safe rooms

By BRIAN SMITH

With the recent tornado outbreak in Texas and Oklahoma, many people are looking into areas that can keep their families safe in the event of a storm.

Storm shelters and safe rooms are considered the top two ways of doing so. Davey Vestal, a sales rep with Young Masonry in Weatherford, said the company has received several inquiries about storm shelters in recent days, as it’s the hot topic of the moment.

“It’s just like anything else. You don’t think about tires until you’re about to have a blowout,” Vestal said. “Same is true with storm shelters. If it hadn’t been for all the tornadoes of late, we wouldn’t be having as many inquiries as we are.”

Vestal said the company had about 24 inquiries about shelters Tuesday and about the same the day before, both when severe weather was forecast throughout the region. In average year, Vestal said the company may get a few inquiries.

“Just another way of making a living,” Vestal said with a laugh.

He said he sells shelters in two sizes: 6 feet by 8 feet or 7 feet by 10 feet. He said there have been some purchases of the shelters, which can run anywhere from $4,000 to $6,000, depending on size.

Smaller storm shelters can start around $2,995 with safe rooms, being somewhat larger than a shelter, starting around $5,995, according to the website of U.S. Storm Shelters, a Decatur-based company.

Vestal says storm shelters are better than safe rooms because they actually solve the problem.

“Safe rooms are still subject to the winds which you’re trying to get out of,” Vestal said. “Storm shelters are built underground to withstand the wind.”

One of the benefits of safe rooms include the ability to take it with you if you move, according to the U.S. Storm Shelters website.

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