Safe Haven Storm Shelters offers new options, looks toward expansion

shelter in garage

Safe Haven Storm Shelters can be installed in garages. They are bolted to the ground and made to withstand the strongest winds.

Safe Haven Storm Shelters recently added new services, such as financing options and customized colors, and has a revamped website. Now, owners are looking toward market expansion and possible product additions.

“We are expanding into multiple states,” co-owner John Kelly said. “We are getting ready to expand into North Carolina and South Carolina.”

Kelly and his friends/business partners Scott and Brent Goulart distribute customized, aboveground safe rooms to protect people during tornadoes and hurricanes.

Most people don’t think about buying a storm shelter until bad weather comes, Kelly said.

“It’s like when the roof is leaking—you don’t think to fix it until it’s raining and water is coming in,” he said.

Thunderstorms are in the forecast for this week, and Kelly said it’s a good time to remind people about his company’s products.

Kelly said that most people assume that being underground is the best way to ride out a tornado, but there are potential problems with that idea, such as flooding or being trapped underground below debris.

His company’s steel storm shelters are anchored down with more anchors than required by federal regulations, Kelly said.

“We are going above and beyond everything FEMA requires,” he said.

And they come with either a swing door or sliding door. Kelly said the sliding door is unique for storm shelters.

In addition to selling the storm shelters, the Save Haven Storm Shelters team aims to educate people about the dangers of storms.

For example, some people don’t realize how much damage is done by debris, not wind from tornadoes, Kelly said.

The shelters cost about $6,300, and that includes taxes, delivery and installation.

Anyone who wants to see the products can see them at Northgate Mall. The demo is in the middle of the mall, near Vitamin World and Kay Jewelers.

They can also contact Kelly at 423-320-5867 to make an appointment or for more information.

Click here for the company’s Facebook page, which the team updates often.

 

Original article

5 Tennessee counties added to disaster area

4679291_GNASHVILLE, TN (AP) – Five more Tennessee counties have been added for disaster assistance for eligible private, nonprofit organizations damaged by storms in June.

Counties now covered are Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Claiborne, Decatur, Gibson, Giles, Haywood, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Marion, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane, Sequatchie, Tipton and Weakley.

The deadline to submit disaster loan applications is Oct. 14.

The declaration covers damage caused by severe storms, tornadoes, wind and flooding on June 5 through 10.

Applicants may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela , or call (800) 659-2955 or visit http://www.sba.gov/disaster for more information.

Protection from the storm: Chattanooga company specializes in storm shelters

John Kelly, left, talks to Hixson resident Samantha Maharrey as she exits an above-ground storm shelter on display inside Northgate Mall. Photo by Tim Barber.

Buell Hulsey didn’t understand why one April morning a few years back, his lawn was covered in snow.

Wait, not snow.

It was the insulation from someone’s home. And a piece of someone’s roof — all dropped on his Hixson doorstep by a tornado.

Hulsey decided he needed a storm shelter.

What he got was an above-ground, steel shelter from Chattanooga-based Safe Haven Storm Shelter.

Storm shelters have become popular here since April 2011, when deadly storms and tornadoes ripped apart nearby communities in Ringgold, Apison, Cleveland and Dayton.

But despite the tragedy which gave rise to the trend, the demand has provided jobs and the grounds for a brand-new business for three local entrepreneurs, John Kelly, Scott Goulart and Brent Goulart.

In the wake of the 2011 storms, the three men spotted both opportunity and need, so they decided to go into business together. They pooled their resources — about $10,000 — and founded Safe Haven Storm Shelters in March 2012.

Safe Haven specializes in providing above-ground storm shelters, rather than traditional below-ground models.

Some yards will not accommodate an in-ground model because of space or water run-off. But Safe Haven co-founder Kelly said almost any concrete surface can handle one of Safe Haven’s above-ground shelters.

Safe Haven’s units are manufactured nearby, in Fayetteville, Tenn., by Storm Guard Shelters.

After manufacture, Storm Guard shelters go to Texas Tech University, home to one of the nation’s leading storm shelter research labs, where they undergo a series of tests, including a debris impact test, to ensure their safety.

Kelly said the shelters exceed the requirements laid down by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and that he doesn’t know of any Storm Guard shelters failing the tests.

But he doesn’t completely rest on the shelters alone.

Kelly said Safe Haven uses a dozen-plus anchor bolts, when one would be sufficient to keep a 2,000-pound unit anchored to the ground.

“It doesn’t cost a lot to put an extra bolt or two in,” he said. “One bolt would hold it down, but we use 17 of them.”

Jesse Fowler, of East Ridge, is convinced since he had a Safe Haven shelter installed a few months ago.

His home does not have a basement, and his yard will not accommodate an in-ground shelter, so he had one installed in his garage.

He watched from the window as the April 2011 storms ravage his neighbors’ homes.

“I said, ‘Sandra, we’re going to something. We’re not going to do this anymore,'” he remembers telling his wife.

He, like Hulsey, wandered into Northgate Mall one day and stumbled upon the Safe Haven demo shelter on display.

“I said, ‘I want one,'” he remembers.

Fowler doesn’t regret the cost of installing the storm shelter because it provides a certain peace-of-mind.

“If those screws come out of the ground, East Ridge isn’t going to be here,” he said this week.

And he said if a tornado comes through his living room, “I’m fairly certain that I’m going to be sitting in that little metal room out there.”

Original Article

President Obama Signs Tennessee Disaster Declaration

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President Barack Obama speaks to the media in Chilmark, Mass., in this Aug. 11, 2014, photo. Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

President Obama signed a Tennessee Disaster Declaration Wednesday and ordered that federal aid be given to supplement state and local recovery efforts, according to a news release by the White House Office of the Press Secretary.

Aid will be given to areas affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that occurred this year between June 5-10. The storms impacted Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Marion, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane, Sequatchie, and Tipton counties.

Federal funding will be available to state and eligible local governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair and replacement of facilities damaged, according to the release. Federal funding will also be available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures across the state.

W. Michael Moore has been named the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments, the report said.

 

See the original article here.

Some locals installing tornado shelters to protect families

3593394_GHAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) – Since tornadoes devastated parts of the Tennessee Valley back in April 2011 and again in March 2012, many people have opted to install storm shelters.

Some have invested thousands of dollars and tonight say that decision is easing their fears as they keep their eyes and ears on the latest weather conditions.

“The metal is real thick. I wouldn’t be scared to get in here and let you shoot a riffle at me in it,” Buell Hulsey said.

Buell Hulsey says his family is ready to run the few feet out of their den to their above ground storm shelter in a moment’s notice.

“We’ve been in here two or three times when there’s been 60 mph winds. It makes us feel safe,” Hulsey said.

He bought a one-ton shelter after the March 2012 tornadoes that struck Harrison. Debris landed in his yard in Hixson.

“I went up there to pick it up it was a half a sheet of plywood with nails sticking out of it and I said i’m going to get me a storm shelter. I said this is close enough,” Hulsey said.

The owners of Safe Haven Storm Shelters say more and more people are taking action like Mr. Hulsey.

“This year we’re on track to double our sales from the year before,” Safe Haven Storm Shelters Co-owner Scott Goulart said.

Goulart, his brother and friend started their business following the deadly April 2011 tornadoes.

“There’s never been a demand for storm shelters but we’re part of tornado alley now. You just never know,. This weather is unpredictable,” Goulart said.

They designed the above ground unit that’s patented with a sliding door. It’s engineered to withstand 250 mile per hour winds, an EF-5.

“I just wanted to give people that peace of mind knowing there’s a safe place to go,” he said.

Most people opt to put it in their garage, carport or near a door. Others in our area have installed underground shelters in their yards. It’s all in an effort protect their families from being picked up by powerful winds.

Hulsey says he strongly suggests everybody get a shelter of some sort.

“Just don’t be late,” Hulsey said.

Storm shelters range in price, usually starting in the five to six thousand dollar range.

If you can’t afford one, have a place in your house picked out for your family’s “safe place,” such as a basement, bathroom, under stairs, closets, hallways. They should be places as far inside the building and close to the ground as possible.

Original Article