May 22, 2013
The first thing you do when a tornado warning goes out is seek shelter, in a basement or a sturdy building away from windows, but what if you have neither?
Tornadoes are not frequent in Virginia, especially of the scale of the tornado which killed at least 24 in Moore, Oklahoma, but they aren't uncommon either.
Capitol Sheds in Ruckersville say they have the answer: storm shelters.
They look sort of like a small tool shed, but it’s a great deal more than that.
"Four-inch C channel wrapped in quarter inch steel and weighs 3,400 pounds," says Loren Shetler with Capitol Sheds. "These things are indestructible."
A demonstration video shows tests where the shelter is hit by a car, shot by a gun, has a ton of bricks dropped on it and then two tons of lumber, all resulting in no damage to the shelter or anything inside.
"It's rated for any storm all the way up to an F5," says Shetler, referencing the Fujita scale, which measures the intensity of tornadoes, with an F5 being the worst.
They are installed by bolting them to a concrete slab. Some people install them inside the garage of their home. Even if the house around the residents is blown completely away, the shelter will still be there.
Storm shelters are more common in the deep south and the plains, but Shetler thinks they will be gaining in popularity here, too.