Fame over Substance? Not Today.

Gary England, an Oklahoman icon, really understands the difference between fame and success.  England had been a chief meteorologist for over 40 years was the chief meteorologist at Channel 9 in Oklahoma City, a position he had held since 1972. This has made him a living legend in the state: the voice of public safety for roughly 2,000 tornadoes. England was also the first on-air meteorologist to alert viewers of a possible tornado using a commercial Doppler weather radar.  With a cult like following, England is a pop culture icon in Oklahoma City. He has been following the weather in Oklahoma since he was a child, where severe weather incidents shaped his love and interest in the dynamics of forecasting weather.  Some even believe him to be the first storm chaser.[caption id="attachment_11035" align="alignleft" width="300"]fame Gary England[/caption]

Many great men, like Gary England, follow the principal of his twitter catch phrase, “Never confuse fame with substance.”

Marlon Brando once quipped, “Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent” while F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.”These words of wisdom can been seen as both humbling and victorious, and in every way, these great men were reminding us that things like substance and talent can be measured in various ways, but we need to determine what is real, and true, and worthy of respect. Our President and CEO, Lucas Stewart, is one of such great men who, like Gary England, follows the principal of having substance over fame.  Anyone can become famous, but to be known for great accomplishments, accomplishments that have substance and meaning, well, that is where admiration and respect stem from.  Another aspect of propriety that Lucas shares with the aforementioned men is that of fairness.  One thing I have learned from working for a company like Survive-a-Storm Shelters is that Lucas Stewart is reasonable and just in all of his dealings, not only with other companies we use for services, not only to his family-like employees, but mostly and most importantly to his customers.  If there is a complaint, issue, or discrepancy, Lucas wants it handled fairly and refuses to be operate a big company that will bully another entity, especially our consumers.People who buy our storm shelters are already doing so often in a vulnerable position, whether it be from fears or past experience.  Taking advantage of someone we hold in such high regard would be out of the question.  Survive-a-Storm Shelters is being launched nationally and growing expeditiously, but even still, Lucas Stewart will not waver in his belief that honesty and fairness, like Thomas Jefferson once stated, “Is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”If you would like to buy a storm shelter from an American owned and operated company, who believe the customer is to be treated fairly and with utmost respect and honesty, then give us a call today at 888-360-1492 or check out our website at www.survive-a-storm.com.  You’ll love the peace of mind knowing that not only do you have a solid built storm shelter, but you bought from a company with substance: Survive-A-Storm Shelters. [Read more]

Radar Still Shows Tornadoes

The 2014 tornado season has been by all accounts somewhat lackluster when compared to previous seasons.  Recent numbers for 2014 show that 827 storms have been reported while 401 have actually been confirmed tornadoes.  This general trend of low activity usually creates a devil-may-care attitude that increases the further away we get from April, May and June, the months when typically the most storms occur.   Here at Survive-a-Storm we are actively participating in National Preparedness Month, which began on September 1st and want to encourage people to remain vigilant throughout the month and realize that tornadoes are still on the radar.[caption id="attachment_11053" align="alignleft" width="960"]radar Tornadoes on the radar[/caption]From 1984-2013 there have been an average of 85 tornadoes recorded in the month of September.  The main risk factor during this time is from tornadoes spawned by hurricanes.  Hurricanes usually contain individual supercells, also known as well-organized thunderstorms thus capable of producing monster twisters.  In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan wreaked havoc on nine states up the eastern seaboard.  It spawned a record-breaking 120 tornadoes, which led to a staggering 96.9 million in damages.  Speaking of money, the second costliest storm on record happened in St. Louis, Missouri in 1927.  What month?  You guessed it…September.

Is there ever a time to stop watching the radar?

We would say, No.  So don’t get caught with your alarm on the September snooze!  Keep an eye on the radar and come see us! Survive-a-Storm has many safe rooms and storm shelters that can protect your family long after the month of September passes.  Our above ground safe rooms are made with pride using the highest quality American steel and can protect you not only from hurricanes, but their spawned tornadoes as well.  We have several options, including our Twister Pod that fit perfectly into that tiny corner of your garage and can be installed within a few hours.  We have the right safe room or storm shelter for anyone.  Check us out online at survive-a-storm.com, call us toll-free 888-360-1492, stop by our Survive-a-Storm Oklahoma City showroom, or make your way to your local Oklahoma Home Depot to make this month a September to remember! [Read more]

The Time is NOW

"I don't have time!"

I’m a textbook procrastinator at heart.  I put things off until the very last possible minute.  And then claim I don't have the time.  I wait to do laundry until I have a pile that a Westminster Best in Show award-winning pooch couldn’t jump.  Birthdays?  Same thing.  If I had all of the money I’ve spent having gifts overnighted I wouldn’t be writing this.  I would be somewhere with a tiny umbrella in my drink watching the waves meet the sand!  That being said, there is one thing I don’t put on the to-do list for another day and that is preparing my family for an emergency.September 1st marks the beginning of National Preparedness Month and it’s a great time to become aware and prepare of what needs to be done to protect your family in an emergency.  Survive-a-Storm recognizes the need to prepare and provides great options for your family.  Our safe rooms and storm shelters are made with pride using only the best American steel on the market.  We provide a durable, quality shelter that fits the specific needs of your family.  We have an extensive range of models that can shelter entire communities right down to ones that can protect just you and your pets.  Our company never sleeps and our websites 24/7 online chat feature is proof.  We can answer your questions anytime.  Want to see one in person before you buy?  We have our units in all of the Oklahoma Home Depots with a sample of our safe rooms and storm shelters ready for you.  Our onsite tornado safety experts can handle your toughest questions on everything ranging from financing to installations.  We’re here to help you prepare for the worst.[caption id="attachment_11061" align="alignleft" width="757"]Time Out of time in Missouri as a car heads straight towards a tornado.[/caption]

So make the time!

Save your procrastinations for something simple like painting that spare bedroom that no one ever sees.   That can always wait until tomorrow!  Don’t procrastinate on the important stuff like protecting your family!  Give us a call, check us out on the web, or come by our Oklahoma showroom today!  Now I’m off to start my new diet and do some laundry… [Read more]

Your Mama Ain’t Happy

If the world loves one thing…that’s a happy mama, right?  We’ve all heard that old, famous adage, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”  Well let us just let every mama out in Oklahoma know to be on the lookout.  One of them ain’t gonna be happyIt all started a few months ago out at our Oklahoma showroom.  We install storm shelters and to do that we need trailers to haul them.  One of our trailers was stolen from outside of our showroom in Oklahoma City.  We initially thought it was an isolated incident and just chalked it up to bad luck.  Well, then our luck got a whole lot worse.  In total we’ve had three trailers, two trucks, and a big set of tools stolen from our showroom area, the last trailer being stolen in the early hours of Monday.  We have some really great and helpful pictures of the guy although he should have at least tucked in his shirt.  Nobody likes a thief, much less one that doesn’t have the decency of being well groomed.

Didn’t your mama teach you that?

In all seriousness, this world is hard.  It’s hard to earn an honest living, but that’s exactly what we try to do around here at Survive-a-Storm.  We are fair to our employees and to our customers because it’s just the way we want to live and work.  Honestly.Mama Survive a Storm SheltersSo we’re sending out this message today in hopes that someone wants to be honest too.  If you have any information about these robberies, please do the right thing and give the Oklahoma City police department or us a call.  And if you are reading this and are actually the person that took our stuff we would say…just bring it back.  Do the right thing.  Make your mama happy! [Read more]

Hurricane Safe Too?

As tropical storm Cristobal churned in the southern Atlantic waters off the eastern seaboard, people began to pay attention.  What if it developed into a hurricane?  What if it began a path toward the United States?  Where should I take shelter if it made landfall near me?  All of these questions, important, and should to be addressed before the last minute.Although it is somewhat difficult to predict what direction a storm would take, deciding where to take shelter in that event can be made easily.  Survive-a-Storm safe rooms are designed to withstand the toughest curve balls Mother Nature can throw.  Our safe rooms have been debris impact tested through Texas Tech University Wind Science and Engineering Research Center and determined to meet all FEMA 320 guidelines.  Each model is made with pride using American steel and powder coated for durability.

Be aware of slight differences when choosing a safe room for hurricane protection versus tornado protection.

[caption id="attachment_9849" align="alignleft" width="768"]Hurricane Above ground safe rooms are more hurricane friendly than below ground storm shelters.[/caption]

Typically the duration of sheltering during a hurricane is longer than sheltering during a tornado.  FEMA 320 guidelines suggest halving the occupancy of a safe room used for shelter during a hurricane.  So a safe room typically used for ten people during a tornado can only shelter five during a hurricane.As for tropical storm Cristobal, it looks like it detoured and missed the United States.  The projected path took it just beyond the Outer Banks of North Carolina near the end of that week.  Cristobal barely reached Category 1 status with winds of 75 mph or more.  As a whole this season has been below average.  No one can predict with certainty when the next hurricane will occur but you can be ready for it with a safe room from Survive-a-Storm.  Call us today!  888-360-1492 [Read more]

Powder Coating vs. Painting…No Contest

Is the suspense killing you?  Okay.  A powder coated safe room or storm shelter wins hands-down every time!  That’s why all Survive-a-Storm safe rooms and storm shelters are powder coated to ensure that our customers receive the highest quality product on the market.  Here’s how it works.  Powder coating is a process of covering an object with a polyester or epoxy powder, applied electrostatically, which is then heated to form a protective layer, or “skin”.

Survive-A-Storm’s powder coating process occurs after our steel safe rooms and storm shelters are welded together.

[caption id="attachment_11080" align="aligncenter" width="1328"]Powder coating One of our community shelters ready for the oven after powder coating is complete.[/caption]We prepare the storm shelter by washing, or etching it, with an acid solution.  This solution cleans the steel thus allowing the powder coating to better adhere to the unit.  The next step is spraying the shelter with the paint powder.  Because the shelter is grounded so the shelter actually attracts the paint from the spray gun.  When the shelter has been evenly coated the excess powder begins to fall off, preventing over spray.  The excess powder can be recycled which is very beneficial in keeping the cost of the shelter down.  Then it is off to the oven where the shelter bakes for around half an hour at a toasty four hundred degrees.What comes out of the oven is a shelter that is evenly coated, rust resistant and extremely durable.  It’s also the main reason we offer a Limited Lifetime Warranty on every safe room or storm shelter that leaves our factory.  It looks nice too.  Not that pretty matters when it comes to saving your life, but a Survive-a-Storm shelter looks good sitting over in the corner of your garage unlike its splotchy, chipping, painted competition.  So if you or someone you know is in the market for the most durable, and don’t forget best-looking, safe room or storm shelter in the industry come see us at our Oklahoma City showroom at 3940 I-240 Service Road today or call us at 1-888-360-1492. [Read more]

Two Kinds of Concrete

Calvin Cannon, Survive-a-Storm’s Oklahoma City tornado and storm expert, has a witticism on almost every subject.  He loves helping people and he loves telling people what he thinks about things.  So when it comes to his opinion on concrete storm shelters, Calvin doesn’t shy away from his answer.

“Well, I understand that concrete may be cheaper.  But I only know two kinds of concrete: concrete that’s cracked and leaks and concrete that is going to crack and leak.”

Concrete was once thought of as the ultimate in safe room and storm shelter protection.  Many people chose to install above ground concrete rooms in their homes or build a basement out of it.  Times have changed and so have people’s choices.  There have been tragic cases of above ground concrete rooms collapsing and killing people inside them.  Seven children died after seeking shelter in Plaza Towers Elementary School during the Moore, Oklahoma tornado in May 2013. Homes with concrete basements are on the decline.  Only 28 percent of new homes had new or partial basements in 2009.  That’s a noticeable drop from 1992 when 38 percent of homes were listed as having them.  This downward shift in the use of concrete could be for many reasons.  Here at Survive-a-Storm we know the main one.  People are choosing steel shelters instead.[caption id="attachment_11090" align="alignleft" width="220"]Concrete or Steel One of many steel shelters by Survive-a-Storm Shelters. We understand concrete will crack. Ours never will.[/caption]Survive-a-Storm steel safe rooms and storm shelters are constructed using the highest grade American steel.  Our team members care about the safety of you and your family; so that means from start to finish we pay attention to detail.  Our dedicated welders are one-of-a-kind and make sure each unit meets FEMA standards before it leaves our factory.  We also have one of the largest powder coating ovens in the country and this means that you will be receiving a quality steel shelter evenly coated to eliminate two things.  You guessed it!  Cracking and leaking!   So what are you waiting for?  Climb out of that moldy, smelly, old concrete box and give us a call or go by the many Home Depots across the nation and check us out!  You can also call us at 1-888-360-1492 to speak with Calvin or any of our other storm shelter experts! [Read more]

EF5 Tornadoes

The difference between an F5 tornado and EF5 tornado is merely a matter of more accurate measurements.  In 2007 the newer scale was put into use to categorize tornado damage. The EF (Enhanced Fujita) is basically the same design as the original Fujita scale, but does a more accurate job in scrutinizing degrees of damage that are more precisely aligned with wind speeds. These speeds were adjusted with more definitive damage descriptions and used to better differentiate an EF4 from an EF5 tornado. These two tornadoes are the most intense storms and are incredibly violent. The EF4 and EF5 produce enormous amounts of damage to homes, businesses, landscapes and life. Whether you are hit by an EF0 or an EF5, to adequately protect yourself, your family or employees from tornadoes, residents in tornado prone areas should have an NSSA approved storm shelter with a triple-locking steel door system that has six locking points and is securely anchored in their home or on their property.

Tornado classifications are rated in a graduated scale from EF0 to EF5 with the EF5 being the strongest and most damaging.

The lower end of the Fujita scale EF0 starts off relatively weak wind speeds at 65-85 mph climbing to EF1 at 86-110 mph with damage increasing tremendously. At EF0 to EF1 intensities, taking shelter in a concrete basement is still an option; however, the risk of the home collapsing and falling in on the basement are high. In an EF1, damage to temporary structures and mobile homes is significant with vehicles being pushed off the road or overturned. Major damage occurs to the roofs of permanent structures with an EF1.ef5 tornado damage photoEF2 tornadoes are still at the lower end of the Fujita scale measuring wind strengths of 111-135 mph. These tornadoes are stronger, although smaller in area and shorter lived than cyclones of the tropics. During an EF-2, exterior wall loss can be expected in poorly built structures. Mobile homes can be totally destroyed. Even very well-built structures are at serious risk of losing their roofs. Trees can snap or become uprooted. Vehicles can be lifted from the ground. The worst threat during an EF2 is that small insignificant yard objects can be tossed into the air and become missiles.An EF3 tornado brings about 136-165 mph winds and a significant threat to structures and life. Little may remain of a structure that has been hit. The integrity of well-built structures may suffer because of the loss of outer and inner walls. Total collapse may occur when unanchored or poorly anchored buildings are affected. Small/light vehicles and similarly weighted objects can be uplifted and become projectiles. Tree de-barking and total loss of vegetation is possible. An EF3 is the maximum level of tornado strength that may allow for effective safety in a first-floor interior room or closet within the center of a house.With winds of 166-200 mph, the EF4 classification represents total loss of a compromised structure. Homes with little or no anchoring will be completely obliterated. Even well-engineered homes can be reduced to medium sized splinters protruding from concrete foundations.  The sturdiest homes can come apart, brick by brick, reducing the effort of taking shelter in a first floor interior closet or room, ineffective for survival. Large trees and vegetation are either completely destroyed or turned into projectiles.  Ground scouring typically occurs leaving little vegetation or topsoil. Cars and other vehicles plus comparable weighted objects become projectiles. Large weighty vehicles such as dump trucks, tankers, trains, and even airplanes can be flipped or spun repeatedly. At this point the best place to be is in a Survive-A-Storm storm shelter, either above or below ground, depending upon whichever best meets the individual’s needs.Finally, the highest rated on the Fujita scale, the EF5 tornado is the most powerful tornado, packing winds of 200 mph or higher. It is the worst tornado mankind has ever experienced on earth. Total loss and extreme destruction always occurs. The best built and most robust homes are no match against an EF5. These tornadoes can pull off and lift an entire house from its foundation then rip it apart piece by piece leaving the foundation clean. The resulting debris is virtually unrecognizable. Large heavy metal machinery is mangled beyond identification then dropped miles away. Pine needles have been seen penetrating tree trunks and structures. Wooden church pews have been driven into the ground. Steel I-Beams have been carried as far as 2 miles away. Skyscrapers have been twisted with this whirling forceful wind tunnel, entire towns have been completely wiped out and asphalt has been lifted from roadways. Train tracks have been ripped from the ground while freight cars have been lifted and thrown great distances. EF5 tornadoes have devoured landscapes, shredded low lying vegetation and have left cyclonical ground scouring plus swept away miles of topsoil.The bottom line is that, in order to survive an EF5 tornado, you need to be in a FEMA 320 compliant storm shelter with an NSSA-approved, steel, 6-point locking door mechanism. You can depend on Survive-A-Storm storm shelters to deliver the safest storm shelter and a competent storm shelter expert who will match you up with an above ground or below ground storm shelter, whichever most closely fits your needs. Call us today at 1-888-360-1942 or visit our website at www.survive-a-storm.com. [Read more]

Compliant: How Safe is Your Safe Room?

To be considered FEMA compliant in the world of storm shelters and tornado safe rooms is an extremely important one, but what does it mean?  The term refers to a set of guidelines set forth by the federal government that serve as a pathway for design, construction, and operation criteria for both community and residential safe rooms and storm shelters that will provide near-absolute life saving protection during tornado activity.  It provides guidance for architects, engineers, fabricators, local officials, emergency managers, and potential storm shelter/safe room owners about the design, construction, and operation of these structures in extreme wind and weather conditions.Here at Survive-a-Storm Shelters we care about the safety of you and your family.

That’s why all of our above ground safe rooms and underground storm shelters are FEMA compliant.

Our residential structures fall under FEMA 320 guidelines and our community storm shelters fall under FEMA 361.  Survive-a-Storm is also a member of the International CFEMA logo compliantode Council and the National Storm Shelter Association.  We also subject all of our shelters to debris impact testing at Texas Tech University Wind Science and Research Center (WISE) or other recognized laboratories.  The testing protocol is pretty simple:  The technician uses a pneumatic cannon that is capable of producing simulated wind speeds over 250 mph.  Once the shelter is setup, the cannon launches different types of simulated wind-born debris.This means that each Survive-a-Storm customer, no matter which model they choose, can be assured that they are receiving the safest, highest quality storm shelter or tornado safe room on the market!Check out all of your options right here at survive-a-storm.com or call us with any questions you might have at 1-888-360-1492.  We have storm shelter experts on standby, waiting to answer all of your questions.  Don't wait, plan ahead and get ready for tornado season today! [Read more]

ShelterMoore Grant Program

[caption id="attachment_3251" align="alignright" width="264"]ShelterMoore ShelterMoore Grant Program[/caption]The spring of 2013 wielded a veracious tornado season, especially for Moore and Shawnee Oklahoma, where numerous tornadoes hit, reaching strengths to EF5 and leaving behind great devastation. More than twenty-four people died, and 377 were reported injured. This effect was similar to those of the tornadoes that ripped through this area back in 1999 and killing more than 50 people.With such recent history and severe damage caused by the 1999 tornadoes, many had hoped Moore residents would have been better prepared with storm shelters, but very few were. However, the money from the ShelterMoore Grant Program is helping the citizens of the Moore community correct the issue by helping rebate winners reach their goal of owning storm shelters so that, in the event of future tornados, they will be able to protect their families.Despite new residential building requirements with stronger construction in place, most homes are still no match for an EF4 or EF5 tornado. No one knows this better than Oklahomans.  So what can be done to ensure safe living in a state full of people who love it and want to keep calling Oklahoma home?  One step is to build homes from the strongest materials available. Another is to provide that home with a safe room to weather the storm.The safest place to be during one of these horrific windstorms is a FEMA compliant storm shelter. Many Oklahomans know this, but something--whether it be finances or time--has still prevented some people from equipping their homes with a safe room or storm shelter.

The ShelterMoore Grant Program, funded primarily by the Red Cross, has helped make storm shelters more affordable for many residents of the town of Moore.

The grant was created to reimburse Moore, OK residents up to $2500.00 for the cost of installing a storm shelter in their homes. Survive-a-Storm helped with several storm shelter models of varying sizes, priced starting at less than $3,500. And Survive-a-Storm’s knowledgeable storm shelter experts helped guide residents through the process of applying for their rebates.At Survive-a-Storm Shelters, we also have a variety of financing options available as well we a variety of storm shelter loans.  If you would like to know more, please give us a call at 888-360-1492.  You can also see our storm shelters at any of the Home Depots across the nation. [Read more]