Ark-La-Tex storm shelter sales surge after recent tornados - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Ark-La-Tex storm shelter sales surge after recent tornados

Fiberglass storm shelter Fiberglass storm shelter

The demand is high for storm shelters in the Ark-La-Tex after the deadly tornado outbreaks over the past few weeks.  One local storm shelter business has seen a spike in sales after Monday's deadly tornado in Oklahoma.

"If we think we're in danger, we're going in here," said Keithville's Cindy Ainsworth pointing at her storm shelter, she says she didn't take any chances when bad storms ripped through the Ark-La-Tex recently. Cindy felt a sense of comfort  knowing, she could protect her family in their storm shelter.

After a string of tornados swept through the nation this month, many people are looking for their own safe spot. That's where Shannon McDaniel comes in, his business, C&S Dirt Works sells fiberglass underground tornado shelters called "The Refuge".  

"The calls have been going through the roof, emails, we can't keep up right now," said McDaniel and adds it usually takes severe weather to get people to start buying.

At an average five to six thousand dollars a pop, the shelters aren't cheap. But McDaniel says people are finding ways to afford it. "What they're doing is they're talking to neighbors saying, lets get a shelter, let's all split it and go into it," he said. But do these shelters work? According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, yes, because the shelters are storm tested.

McDaniel says, while many of his customers don't use their shelters often, having the peace of mind makes it worth the money. "The safety rate in their mind, is way high. [With a shelter] they are way more secure now, that's what we want to provide."

An alternative to an underground storm shelter is to build a "safe room" or "panic room" in your home. Those rooms cost about the same amount as the underground shelters, at five thousand dollars or more.  

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