Storm shelter business booming


Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - David Dycus

CARLISLE COUNTY, Ky. — The last time storms rolled through, it was April 23, 2011. The winds were so strong, they lifted the roof off the Williams' family home. They were forced to wait out the storm in a bathroom.

"It came right over our house," father Ricky Williams remembered.

Minutes later, the EF2 tornado was gone but so were their trees, fence and roof.

"It happened so fast, no one was even prepared," Williams said.

It is why Williams, a banker, is not taking any chances next time.

"We have a vault here at the bank that my coworkers and I could get in if necessary. But it is nice to know if my family's at home, they have a place to go in and be safe."

That place is a DuPont storm shelter. The walls are reinforced with 18-inch steel and coated in Kevlar, the same material used in a bulletproof vest.

Chris Potter, working with Heartland Storm Shelters, said business is booming and with good reason.

"This is where I'd put my family," he said.

East Septic and Concrete in Mayfield, Kentucky, said their sales of storm shelters have skyrocketed from 15 or 20 a year to hundreds.

The shelter measures 12x12 and costs upwards of $15,000. There is a less expensive model, one that measures 4x4 and retails for around $5,500.