Storm shelters in the Tennessee Valley?
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB)- Because tornadoes have terrorized the area twice in less than a year, many are doing something they never thought about a couple years ago. Some people are wanting to install storm shelters.
After tornadoes hammered the Channel 3 viewing area two years in a row the Midwest trend is becoming a lot more common at home.
"There are no words to express what people had to go through and I'm very thankful that in our this most recent time that nobody lost their life," says Jennifer Ball.
Jennifer Ball now has one more line of defense if tornadoes strike the Tennessee Valley again.
"Everybody says it looks like a barbeque cooker."
It is a storm shelter that will soon be buried behind her house in Hixson.
"We don't have a basement in our house and even people with basements, sometimes the houses would fall on them," says Ball.
Jennifer and her husband, Derek, talked about getting a shelter after last April's tornadoes.
He is a flight nurse and saw first hand what tornadoes can do.
"Tornadoes never used to be a fear," she says.
But this latest round has her eager to have it installed.
"People thought I was kind of crazy but after this last round of storms. Now I have friend after friend saying, 'Ok, I'm gonna get one now.'"
Storm shelters come in all different sorts of shapes and sizes. In this case Jennifer and her family opted for a steel shelter. They also come in concrete and fiberglass.
The shelters range from $2,000 up to $7,000.
Jennifer and her family bought theirs from a company in Arkansas for just under $4,000.
She is currently applying a tar protective sealant herself.
"We opted to paint it ourselves and saved about $1,200," she says.
With two boys ages two and six she says it is worth every penny.
On top of that, she hopes her family never has to use it.
"Peace of mind. It's just priceless. To know that I have a safe place to go and to protect my children. Absolutely worth it," says Ball.
There are a good number of companies in West Tennessee that sell and install storm shelters.
They tell us they have been very busy with calls from our area.
One representative told us installing a storm shelter will add value to your home.
We also checked with area insurance companies to see if they offer discounts if you install one. A few say, not right now, because such violent weather is not common for our area.