Central Georgia is no stranger to severe weather. It's a year-round threat. But it certainly doesn't compare to what you'll find in tornado alley. Something else you'll find in the Midwest - many home owners with tornado shelters. And believe it or not, if you look closely, they're starting to pop up in the Peach State too.
But wouldn't it be nice if you could have a tornado shelter and not have to run outdoors to get to it?
George Harper owns Safe Shelters. His company offers installation of storm shelters in your home, a new concept for central Georgia.
"Our company was founded about a year ago. We install in-garage storm shelters. Our storm shelters go down in the slab of your garage floor. That makes them unique versus the old type of storm shelters that went out in your back yard."
That's right - in your garage, eliminating the need to put yourself in danger by running outside during the storm. And that could be the difference between life and death when seconds matter.
Harper says his experience is that people "wait...they're watching the news...they're watching the meteorologists and they said it's coming your way and that's when they run and get in it. That's typically in the middle of the worst part of the storm. The beauty of our storm shelters is that if you do that, you're not going outside. You're going right into your garage which is nice and dry and going right down in it. It takes very little time to get into."
The installation process isn't too scary and can be completed in about a day. It first involves cutting out a section of concrete in your garage, removing that part of the concrete slab, digging a hole underneath your garage, fine tuning the hole, hoisting the shelter and lowering it into the hole, securing it in place and pouring a new concrete footing.
Harper offers four types of shelters for his customers: medium, large, extra-large and jumbo. They hold anywhere from 8 to 12 or 14 people.
And Harper feels the demand for these shelters is increasing too!
"I think people are becoming real aware of that need...that safety. And our shelters provide that."
Safety is key. That's why these shelters are tested to withstand maximum force before they ever hit your garage floor.
"They take these shelters are shoot a 2x4 at the top of them, which is the only part that would be exposed, at about 200 mph. They then issue a certification on the shelters. They would be able to withstand an EF-5 tornado because you are underground. You're not worried about any kind of blowing debris."
So, what happens when your car is in the garage when the sky turns dark? Harper has an answer for that too!
"We install them about 12 inches from the garage door. In a typical home, if you pull all the way in your garage, you've got about 2.5 to 3 feet from your bumper to your garage door. Our shelters are designed to be able to slide the lid back and go down in behind your car and not have to take it out of the garage."
A safe shelter will cost you anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 which includes all labor costs and depends on which model shelter you choose.
To contact George at Safe Shelters, use the following options:
Phone: (678) 964-SAFE
Created: Mon, 20 May 2013 09:30:12 EST
Updated: Fri, 31 May 2013 10:03:22 EST