Brisk Business Keeps Shelter Installers Busy

Wednesday, June 1st 2011, 10:30 pm
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Recent tornadoes have a lot of people thinking about installing a storm shelter, but there are a lot of questions about costs, options, and, right now, availability.

For the Rose family of Edmond who just installed an in-ground tornado shelter, the decision was an easy one.

"It's really not that big of investment for the peace of mind it provides for me," Holly Rose said.

The Roses paid $3,100 dollars for the shelter that is big enough for their whole family and their dog.

Flatsafe, who built and installed it, said its in-ground shelters run from about $2,800 installed for a six-person shelter to almost $4,600 for a 10+ person depending on what type of materials are used.

Another option is a safe room. Constructed above ground with reinforced concrete and rebar, safe rooms built to FEMA specs are designed to withstand an EF5 tornado.

"I put this in every home I build," said David Brookshire, owner of Brookshire Homes.

Brookshire said a standard-size safe room adds $3,000 to the cost of the home on a new build.

To put one in the garage of an existing home will cost another $800 to $1,000 dollars.

"I highly recommend it if it's what you need to do," said Brookshire.

Because of the huge demand for storm shelters, the folks at Flatsafe said they are installing about 16 shelters a day, but even if you call today, the earliest you can get one installed is around September 1.

The folks at Flatsafe said it takes about five hours to install one shelter.