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Aftermath of a Tornado: Stepping Into the Gap

Last Updated: July 28, 2016 It’s been four years since a EF-5 tornado ripped through Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011, leaving destruction in its wake, and the devastation of the aftermath of a tornado. The storm, ranked the seventh deadliest in U. S. history, took the lives of 157 people, according to the NOAA.
aftermath of a tornado Joplin, Mo
The aftermath of a tornado in Joplin, MO.
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.”

 Survive-a-Storm Shelters has a strong track record for stepping into the Gap in the Aftermath of a Tornado

Harbor 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 or call 888-360-1492 before you have to bear witness to the destruction and aftermath of a tornado.
The leading manufacturer and distributor of prefabricated steel above ground and below ground tornado shelters, and community safe rooms.
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