Crews Overloaded With Safe Room Requests

Thursday, May 15th 2008, 10:45 pm
By: News On 6

Crews are overloaded installing safe rooms for families worried about the next round of severe storms.

News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports a month ago, a tornado just missed Darrel Pearson's Sperry home, it was close enough to prompt Pearson to get a safe room installed.

"If it would have been a larger tornado, we may have had a loss of life," said Pearson.

After eight years of thinking about it, the family finally made up their minds when the twister got too close for comfort.

"We've just never really done, we've talked off and on and tried to plan for it, it's just something else just comes up and we go somewhere else with our money.  But this time we just had to make a decision and do it," said Pearson.

After an active spring tornado season, safe room companies are busy.

Tom Bennett with Jim Giles Safe Rooms and who is also a News On 6 employee says business is booming.

"The frequency of calls right now is up 200 to 300%, as far as how many safe rooms we're selling, that's probably up 50 to 60% right now," said Bennett.

Business is also up at Family Safe Shelters.

"These terrible storms in Picher and other places, what they do is they raise the anxiety level so people are just afraid and what we want to do is tamp that down, by giving them one safe place," said Dirk DeRose of Family Safe Shelters

Kay Bauter's been saving for eight years ever since she clipped an article about safe rooms from a newspaper.

"Putting my nickels and dimes back so I could have a safe room at some point and time and I feel that I've now reached that point," said Bauter.

For both Bauter and Pearson, getting a saferoom gives them peace of mind for the next time a tornado strikes.

"I feel safe.  I feel very comfortable with it," said Pearson.

Safe rooms usually start at about $4,500.

Pearson is using some of his economic stimulus money to pay for part of his safe room.

Since crews are so busy, if you order one now, it will be three to four weeks before one can be installed.