When a tornado touched down in Moore, Okla,. around 6:30 last night, ending this year's unusually slow start to tornado season, one Moore resident and her beloved pets were safe inside their Survive-a-Storm shelter installed just hours before the tornado hit.Although some weather pros warned that tornadoes might be in the weather picture yesterday, no tornado warning was issued for Moore before the tornado hit last night.The F1 tornado devastated a trailer park near the Tulsa suburb of Sand Springs, left one dead, sent nine to the hospital, and left more than 20,000 residents without power this morning.
Protected by their newly-installed storm shelterMoore resident Melanie Ross Douvillier and her two dogs weathered the storm -- which damaged buildings, tore off roofs and left debris strewn across roads -- safe inside their Survive-a-Storm shelter installed just three hours before the tornado hit. The process took just two and a half hours and left them safe, dry and grateful for the protection.Here's her story, which she shared on the Survive-a-Storm Shelters Facebook page last night:
"Just had my Survive-A-Storm shelter installed at 3pm today! (Was picked out of the Moore, OK lottery for a free shelter), NEVER thought I would be in it 3 hours later! I live off 19th and Eastern in Moore. My dogs posing in the shelter!"Melanie's comment prompted this March 26 response from Michelle DePorter, another satisfied Survive-a-Storm Shelters customer who hunkered down in her ShelterCube Extreme during last night's storm:
Call Survive-a-Storm to protect your family todayCall Survive-a-Storm Shelters at 888-360-1492 and talk to one of our experts about installing a FEMA-approved above ground or below ground shelter that will keep your family safe in a storm.Survive-a-Storm Shelters offers near absolute protection with our full line of above and below ground shelters. All of our FEMA-compliant Survive-a-Storm Shelters have been tried and tested and are able to withstand winds and debris from any EF5 tornado.And with affordable pricing and the many financing options we have made available to our customers, nearly anyone can afford one. You can find our products inside many of The Home Depot stores in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri. They even sell our units on their website at www.homedepot.comSo come check us out on the web at www.survive-a-storm.com or call 888-360-1492.
Coverage of last night's tornado in MooreWhile Melanie and her pets were safe in their Survive-a-Storm shelter last night, KFOR Chief Meteorologist Mike Morgan and helicopter pilot Jon Welsh provided live coverage of the storm on the evening news, as it moved through Moore. "This will be the 'tornado' that breaks the drought for March," Greg Carbin, warning coordination meteorologist for the Storm Prediction Center, said before Wednesday's storms hit.Other twisters formed along a line from southwest of Oklahoma City to east of Tulsa, and some touched down in the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas.Before this week, only about two dozen twisters had been recorded so far this year. During the same three-month period in other years, a count of about 120 is typical. The last time the U.S. had no twisters in March was nearly 50 years ago, according to figures from the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
Last week we wondered if we were experiencing the lull before the storm. This week, we are seeing tornado predictions in the news. Ironic, isn't it?Just yesterday, news outlets were touting the fact that no tornadoes or tornado watches had been recorded across the U.S. so far this year, although there are said to be seven confirmed in Alabama, according to data from the National Weather Service.Today the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issued a notice that said a "couple tornadoes in addition to very large hail" and damaging winds could occur by the end of the day in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.A cold front that pushed strong storms through southeastern Kansas and into the affected states is the culprit, according to Corey Mead, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman. He said hail of up to two inches or more in diameter and damaging straight-line winds of 60 mph or more were likely, with severe storms heading into the Southern Plains and a possible tornado whose strength could not yet be predicted.“The overall pattern is not going to be ideal for a number of tornadoes, but a tornado or two cannot be ruled out,” Mead said. After all, it's March, which is when tornado season often begins in parts of the country. In fact, the National Weather Service in Tulsa predicted isolated tornadoes today in northeast Oklahoma.So what does all this mean for the average resident of Oklahoma or Arkansas or Missouri or any other state that sees tornadoes blow through? Well, what else: Be prepared. First, get ready for severe weather by planning, practicing, learning and staying aware to keep your family safe.Then take action. Call Survive-a-Storm Shelters at 888-360-1492 and talk to one of our experts about installing a FEMA-approved above ground or below ground shelter that will keep your family safe in a storm. Survive-a-Storm Shelters offers near absolute protection with our full line of above and below ground shelters. All of our FEMA-compliant Survive-a-Storm Shelters have been tried and tested and are able to withstand winds and debris from any EF5 tornado.And with affordable pricing and the many financing options we have made available to our customers, nearly anyone can afford one. You can find our products inside many of The Home Depot stores in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri. They even sell our units on their website at www.homedepot.comSo come check us out on the web at www.survive-a-storm.com or call 888-360-1492.
We have the first winner in our storm shelter giveaway! Congratulations to Rachel Vanaman, who won the March 20 drawing in our Survive-A-Storm Shelters giveaway with Communication Federal Credit Union, one of Oklahoma’s largest.
About the drawingWe will give away three more free storm shelters from now through April, just in time for the spring tornado season. Beginning March 20, a new winner drawn each week for four weeks. Register today at this link: http://content.comfedcu.org/win-a-shelter.Here are the remaining drawing dates:
- Winner 2 announced: March 27, 2015
- Winner 3 announced: April 3, 2015
- Winner 4 announced: April 10, 2015
About the Twister PodThe TwisterPod is an attractive and practical above ground storm shelter solution for up to four occupants. With a neutral color powder-coated finish, curved door, and welded-in seating, the Twister Pod Storm Shelter by Survive-a-Storm is engineered to withstand EF5 tornado winds. It is easy to install in an existing garage, carport, or on an outside patio. Its small form factor means that you won’t displace much room in the garage.Survive-a-Storm Shelters are constructed of steel, have passed rigorous testing and are designed to provide near absolute protection against EF5 tornado winds. The residential shelters are distributed through The Home Depot® and through Survive-a-Storm locations in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri and Texas, as well as online at http://survive-a-storm.com/.
Some factsSo far this month, there have been no tornadoes reported in the U.S. According to Weather Channel meteorologist Greg Forbes, this is only the second time this has happened since 1950.From January through March 12, only 27 tornadoes had been documented across the nation, although the average for March alone is 78, according to statistics from The Weather Channel. By this time of the year, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma would have issued 52 tornado watches nationwide. This year the total is four.
“We are in uncharted territory with respect to lack of severe weather,” said Greg Carbin, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the Norman Storm Prediction Center. “This has never happened in the record of [Storm Prediction Center] watches dating back to 1970.”
The causeWhy the dearth of tornadoes? The jet stream from the Northwest is responsible, with the winter wind and cold across much of the country making things too stable for tornadoes and causing the historic lows."We're in a persistent pattern that suppresses severe weather, and the right ingredients -- moisture, instability and lift -- (have yet to come together)," Carbin said.
What to doSo what to do during the lull before the storm? Get prepared. Because even in years where the tornado counts are low, violent tornadoes still occur. The year 2013 is a perfect example. Although the number of tornadoes nationwide was roughly 30 percent below normal that year, they included some of the strongest tornadoes on record. The May 2013 twisters in Moore and El Reno, Okla., were devastating.At Survive-a-Storm, we stand ever ready to help you prepare for any coming storm. Survive-a-Storm Shelters offers near absolute protection with our full line of above and below ground shelters, and with affordable pricing and the many financing options we have made available to our customers, nearly anyone can afford one.All of our FEMA-compliant Survive-a-Storm Shelters have been tried and tested and are able to withstand winds and debris from any EF5 tornado. You can find our products inside many of The Home Depot stores in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri. They even sell our units on their website at www.homedepot.com.So come check us out on the web at www.survive-a-storm.com or call 888-360-1492.
For Sarah, the moments before the tornado hit were some of the scariest of her life. For Marie and Neal, their fear persisted long after the tornado ended. The difference? Sarah and her family installed a Survive-a-Storm shelter; Marie and Neal did not.Sarah and her husband turned to Survive-a-Storm Shelters when they decided to protect themselves against future Oklahoma storms. They did their research and chose a steel storm shelter that -- thankfully -- fit their family size and their budget.
“The Twister Pod by Survive-a-Storm Shelters is a perfect fit for our family. The unit is designed to hold 4 people and we manage to make room for our dog Bella. The cost is very affordable and they offer financing options for even young families like ours. The Twister Pod is made of American steel, and fits perfectly into our garage. The best thing, however, is the fact that our Twister Pod is FEMA compliant and Survive-a-Storm Shelters upholds to the standards of the NSSA, which means someone is checking to make sure their shelters are reliable and offer near absolute protection for my family.” – SarahMarie and Neal's home in Bridge Creek, Okla., was spared when the tornado hit. But Marie's parents' home was destroyed. The two couples shared the surviving home as they looked for ways to rebuild their lives, but the impact that the EF5 had on their family was too much. Sadly, the two couples eventually moved from the state that they loved for fear of the next tornado.The lesson here? Don't let fear rule the day. Act to protect your family with a Survive-a-Storm shelter, either above ground or underground. All of our FEMA-compliant Survive-a-Storm Shelters have been tried and tested and are able to withstand winds and debris from any EF5 tornado. And with affordable pricing and the many financing options we have made available to our customers, nearly anyone can afford one, just like Sarah and her family.You can find our products inside many of The Home Depot stores in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri. They even sell our units on their website at www.homedepot.com. So come check us out on the web at www.survive-a-storm.com or call 888-360-1492.
When it comes to ensuring your family's safety in severe weather, you want the facts. And you can get the facts about storm shelter safety from the experts at the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) and Survive-a-Storm Shelters, a Producer Member.The primary purpose of the National Storm Shelter Association is to ensure the highest quality of manufactured and constructed storm shelters for protecting people from injury or loss of life from the effects of tornadoes, hurricanes and other devastating natural disasters. And as a Producer Member, Survive-a-Storm manufacturers storm shelters and safe rooms that offer near absolute protection, in both below-ground and above-ground models.Despite false claims to the contrary, above-ground safe rooms were a safe haven for residents of Moore, Okla., when an F5 tornado blew threw their city in 2013. Just ask the experts at NSSA."The evidence unequivocally demonstrates that above-ground safe rooms performed without failure during the Moore storms and delivered critical life safety to their occupants," said Matt Williams, who serves on the NSSA board and is an executive vice president at Survive-a-Storm.That statement is backed up by research performed by engineer Larry Tanner of the Wind Research Institute at Texas Tech University. Tanner has investigated tornado shelter performance in all major tornado outbreaks during the past 17 years, and his investigations document a record of consistently excellent performance of properly constructed and installed above-ground safe rooms.Tanner and his research were cited in a May 31, 2013, article by Bryan Dean of The Oklahoman. The newspaper reported that Tanner and a team of researchers from the institute who toured Moore after the 2013 tornado found that all 16 above-ground safe rooms or storm shelters that lay in or near the damage path of the storm survived and "performed great."So how do you ensure that your above-ground safe room will keep you safe? Be prepared. And follow the NSSA's advice.The NSSA asserts that the best way to ensure shelters have been designed by a qualified engineer to meet FEMA guidelines and are tested by a qualified lab such as the Wind Research Institute at Texas Tech University, is to select an NSSA Producer Member as a storm shelter provider. Producer Members are required to meet rigorous tornado shelter quality assurance and ethical standards to qualify for membership and continue in good standing as members of the Association.As a Producer Member, Survive-a-Storm Shelters offers near absolute protection with our full line of above and below ground shelters. All of our FEMA-compliant Survive-a-Storm Shelters have been tried and tested and are able to withstand winds and debris from any EF5 tornado.And with affordable pricing and the many financing options we have made available to our customers, nearly anyone can afford one.You can find our products inside many of The Home Depot stores in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri. They even sell our units on their website at www.homedepot.com. So come check us out on the web at www.survive-a-storm.com or call 888-360-1492.
If there's still snow on the ground, it's too early to start preparing for tornado season, right? Wrong!Depending upon where you live, tornado season can begin as early as March, so now is the time to get ready to safely ride out any storm that blows your way. Here's what you can do to be prepared to act quickly:
- PLAN - Establish a family emergency plan that includes where to go in case of a storm, where to meet if family members become separated and how to contact family members to ensure their safety.
- PRACTICE - Practice your emergency plan with your family.
- LEARN - Know the difference between a watch and a warning. A "watch" means a tornado is possible in your area. A "warning" means a tornado has been spotted, so you must take shelter immediately.
- LISTEN - Listen to local news or a weather radio to stay up to date.
- WATCH - Watch for tornado danger signs: a dark, greenish sky; hail or heavy rain; an approaching cloud of debris; loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn't fade in a few seconds; and a sudden stillness or quiet in the air.
- ACT - Don't waste precious seconds opening windows if a tornado is coming your way. The pressure of the storm will do that for you. Take shelter below ground in a basement or storm shelter or above ground in a safe room. If those options are not available, take shelter in an interior room or hallway on the lowest level. In a high-rise building, hunker down in a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor. Avoid windows, doors and outside walls, as well as corners, as they attract debris. Cover your head to protect it from debris. Do not take shelter in a vehicle or mobile home or under an overpass or a bridge. If you are caught in a car, stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat, or other cushion if possible. If you are outdoors and shelter is unavailable, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area.
It's been four years since a EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011, leaving destruction in its wake. The storm, ranked the seventh deadliest in U. S. history, took the lives of 157 people, according to the NOAA.Since then, the city has worked to repair the damage. Last weekend, it unveiled a new hospital to replace St. John's, which took a severe hit nearly four years ago. Survive-a-Storm Shelters' response to the Joplin tornado was to figure out how it could make its high quality storm shelters and safe rooms more easily available to families.“After the Joplin tornado outbreak in May of 2011 we were appalled to learn that wait times for tornado shelters were as long as six or seven months," said Matt Williams, Survive-a-Storm vice president. "We also heard horror stories about fly-by-night companies that would take deposits for shelters only to steal the deposits. When we discovered that quality storm shelters were unavailable through major big box home improvement chains, we stepped into the gap and leveraged our experience in the disaster industry.”
Track record in placeHarbor Enterprises, the parent company of Survive-a-Storm Shelters, already had a well-established track record of helping to provide shelter after natural disasters. It built tens of millions of dollars in disaster housing after Hurricane Katrina under contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/FEMA. The company was one of only several companies that were able to pass rigorous indoor air quality standards. The company went on to build several thousand homes in Haiti after the earthquake that devastated the small island nation.“Our background in responding to natural disasters primed our desire to help people become more proactive in preparing for such tragedies,” said Williams. “We are helping to address the supply chain and product availability issues by leveraging our experience in the disaster industry as well as our substantial manufacturing and logistics capacity.”
Now at The Home Depot®The company's complete line of FEMA-compliant storm shelters are available through The Home Depot® website and in select Home Depot® store locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri. The move makes buying and installing a storm shelter more timely and efficient, according to Williams.Shoppers walking into any Home Depot store in Little Rock, Ark.; north Texas; southeast Missouri; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Pittsburg, Kan., will discover a shiny grey metal storm shelter display sitting just next to the entrance of the store. As shoppers move into the store, they can get an up-close look at a 4-foot in diameter metal cylinder aptly dubbed “The TwisterPod.” On top of the TwisterPod is a television playing a looping doodle video explaining the process for purchasing the shelter through the world’s largest home improvement retailer.Survive-a-Storm Shelters has been busy rolling out its shelters to Home Depot® stores throughout the Southwest and Midwest. The shelters are sold inclusive of delivery and installation within a generous delivery radius (typically about 50 miles) of each store location. Customers who want to purchase a shelter simply approach any Home Depot® associate and request a complimentary site visit to their home or place of business. The Home Depot then passes this information along to Survive-a-Storm, which schedules the visit within 24-hours.
Tried and tested“Confusion about product testing and quality have been far too common in the storm shelter industry,” Williams said. “Survive-a-Storm Shelters have been designed by licensed professional engineers, tested at Texas Tech University, and manufactured and installed in accordance National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) and FEMA guidelines, providing reassurance that the shelters distributed through The Home Depot meet these very stringent requirements.”Consumers purchasing shelters through the Home Depot website are encouraged to have their shelters installed by a qualified local contractor and inspected to ensure that shelter installation complies with the manufacturer's guidelines for installation. The cost of purchasing a Survive-a-Storm Shelter through a Home Depot store ranges from $3,500 to about $5,000.Check us out on the web at www.survive-a-storm.com or call 888-360-1492.https://youtu.be/122J74RJ4jg
Survive-A-Storm Shelters is partnering with Communication Federal Credit Union, one of Oklahoma’s largest, to give away four free storm shelters during March and April, just in time for the spring tornado season. Register today at this link: http://content.comfedcu.org/win-a-shelter.The above ground shelters, known as TwisterPods, will be on display at selected CFCU branches during the promotion. The first drawing will be held March 20, with a new winner drawn each week for four weeks.No purchase or membership is necessary and anyone can register at comfedcu.org/WinAShelter. Limit of one entry per person, per household. Winners will be selected at random. Download the official contest rules here.“Our shelters have been designed by licensed professional engineers, tested at Texas Tech University and manufactured and installed in accordance national professional and federal guidelines,” said Matt Williams, Survive-a-Storm vice president.“We definitely see the need for all Oklahomans to have shelters in order to protect them from our deadly weather. Our hope is that this program will help save lives,” said Larry Shropshire, president and CEO of Communication Federal Credit Union, the first financial institution in the state to initiate affordable storm shelter loans.