The Norman Transcript

Headlines

May 3, 2014

Rush on shelters leads to long waits

OKLAHOMA CITY — Business booms this time of year for Norman’s Thunderground Storm Shelters.

Even though the company installs no less than 30 storm shelters a week, the wait to get one this time of year is at least two months. By the end of Oklahoma’s three-month tornado season, the company will have installed more than 500 underground shelters, and turned away disappointed customers away who hoped for an immediate install.

“There are people out there that can say we can get it to you in two weeks,” said Garett Howerton, director of operations for Thunderground. “They’re either lying to make a sale or there’s a reason they’re not booked.”

But as footage of tornado-ravaged disaster areas — like the one in Quapaw that killed a man last weekend — flash across television screens, shelter companies across the state get bombarded by calls from frantic customers looking for a quick shelter install. By this time of year, the state’s established shelter companies already have long wait lists.

Jay Stephens, co-owner of Tornado King Storm Shelter, says it’s not uncommon to get offered a cash bonus, if he’ll expedite a customer’s install.

The Muskogee businessman said his company doesn’t do the bonus program, but always has “people that get really desperate,” after tornadoes hit and upon hearing that the wait for a storm shelter from his company this time of year is at least six weeks.

“Everyone waits until it’s on our mind,” Stephens said. “That’s the wrong time. If someone wants to order one today, it would be (June) before they can get it.”

He recommends consumers consider installing storm shelters during the off-season, which is typically from June to December.

Adding to consumer chaos this time of year is the fact the shelter industry is relatively new and has few regulations, said Ernst Kiesling, executive director of the National Storm Shelter Association and a research professor in the National Wind Institute at Texas Tech University.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Body 1 Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • County moves forward on nursing home bonds

    Cleveland County commissioners on Monday approved a resolution authoring a county trust to issue up to $15 million for a nursing home on the site of the former Whispering Pines nursing home at 501 E. Robinson St....

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal to improve health care costs $17B

    WASHINGTON — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Little Axe Health Center hosting blood drive

    Norman-area blood donors this summer will not only save lives when they donate with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), they’ll also get “Feel Cool” T-shirts and two tickets to the Oklahoma City Zoo....

    July 29, 2014