Storm Shelters in Demand and Debate After Oklahoma Tornado
Recent tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas have sparked interest in storm shelters across the Midwest.
Storm shelters range in size from closet-sized, two-person ones to 40-foot, round-topped ones intended for schools, trailer parks or workplaces. Most smaller shelters are installed above ground and bolted to concrete foundations.
Safe rooms through Oklahoma Shelters start at $3,750 for a 4-by-6-foot space that's installed within a home, said USA Today. They are windowless constructions with protections in place, like a steel door and metal walls. An underground shelter, which is usually made of concrete, start at $2,450.
Not all Oklahoma schools have storm shelters, but an online petition has been started to get them in Oklahoma schools.
Oklahoma native Chris Shatswell started the petition. He currently works in Fort Worth, Texas, but grew up in the Sooner State and attended Mid-Del schools.
However, an article in the Daily Beast says that due to the cost of storm shelters, a better way to approach storm management is to look at the way schools and buildings are built.
"Virtually no ground-level building can withstand the fiercest tornadoes, with winds of more than 200 miles per hour," the article said. "But it might be possible to design schools and other public buildings to make parts of them less vulnerable. We need to get architects and engineers together to see if something can be designed to provide a better level of safety at reasonable cost per life saved," it said.