Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Tansi Smoke Signals

March 28, 2012

New storm shelter gives peace of mind

CROSSVILLE — Dear friends and neighbors,

We would like to tell you about our New Safe Shelter for protection from tornadoes.  We did a lot of research last year because we were tired of trying to squeeze into a closet that we knew would not really protect us, but it was all we had.  I remembered seeing an episode on Extreme Make Over Home Edition on TV that took place here in Tennessee and they put a Family-Safe shelter in their new home after a tornado took down their old home.  So I got on the computer and found the name of the company and looked for a website and videos to watch about them.  I also looked at other companies but no one had the Better Business Bureau (BBB), National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) and could really withstand up to an F-5 tornado. The first bonus was you could stand up in it — unlike others we found. We called the company, Family-Safe, which is located in Gallatin, TN. Another bonus, Made in America and made right here in Tennessee. Do I hear jobs here for Tennessee?

We had the company come out and give us a quote and explain how everything worked. When Marcus Hunt came out, we were sold. We ordered a 6’ x 6’ basic model with a handicap door in case a wheelchair entry is needed. He said it would take six weeks because they custom make each unit to your needs. This gave us time to clean out the spot we wanted it to be placed in. We chose our garage. They can also put them outside your home if you have a cement slab put in to the right thickness and put sides and a roof over it.  They have all kinds of options to meet your needs. When it finally came, we were amazed that it came on a simple car trailer and not a flat bed thing. They rolled it off the trailer and into the garage on solid steel rods. Kind of like the Egyptians did with the pyramids and how they rolled the big rocks on huge logs. They rolled it to the back of our garage and then pulled out these huge long bolts and started drilling right into our cement floor anchoring the shelter down so nothing could move it no matter what. After the set up was complete, which did not take that long, it was time to decorate and set it up just for us.

We went to Lowe’s for some carpet and a long crow bar (which they want you to have to lift up the door 3” off the hinges if something got jammed up against the door and your could not unbolt the locks on the door). Cool thing is it opens inside not out like other companies. And then off to Wal-Mart to get this cool Coleman light and fan combo in the sporting goods department. You can have the shelter wired with lights but that doesn’t help if the power goes out. You can do both if you want to. Anyways this fan has a magnet that will stick to the metal ceiling. At home we had some of those touch lights in the house, so we put those up with the command hooks. They worked great! We put in our two chairs, table, bottle water, battery radio, extra batteries for the lights and radio, Kleenex, candle, lighter and even a Port-a-Potty from our previous boat that we had stored in the garage. We also added a shelf unit to store all the small stuff in. So we were finally ready for any tornado Mother Nature wanted to throw our way. We are from Michigan. 89 percent of all homes have basements. Down here it cost too much money to blast through the mountain and for our home, already built, this was not an option. Now we are safe!

With this last of 300 tornadoes and the Weather Channel saying a 9 out of 10 chance for our area, we were ready. Finally, we have the security of being safe and not trying to squeeze two adults and two dogs into a closet that was not going to protect us. Now we have a roomy 6’ x 6’ stand up Family Safe Shelter to go to when the sirens go off here in Tansi. If you would like to see ours, call Helen at 931-788-6650. We would love to share our greatest find.

Helen Carpenter

Jonalee Slackta


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