RUCKERSVILLE, Va. (WUSA9) -- More than 100 schools in Oklahoma have reinforced shelters but unfortunately the two elementary schools we saw hit on Monday were not. As people explore better options for riding out tornadoes, WUSA9 Photojournalist James Hash traveled to Ruckersville, Va. to talk to a company that sells safe rooms designed to hold up when bad weather strikes.
It's the first thing you hear when a tornado warning is called out: seek shelter, a basement or a sturdy building away from windows. But what if your home doesn't have a basement? What if your building isn't very sturdy?
You could use a storm shelter. It looks sort of like a small tool shed but this is no ordinary tool shed.
"Four-inch, C channel wrapped in a quarter-inch steel and weighs 3,400 pounds. These things are indestructible," said Loren Shetler with CapitalSheds.com.
In a demo video, the shelter is hit by a car at 30 miles an hour, a ton of bricks and then two tons of lumber dropped on it, even has a car dropped on it from 70 feet with no damage whatsoever. It can withstand any storm.
Shetler said, "It's rated for any storm all the way up to an F5."
The shelters are installed by bolting them to a concrete slab. Some customers have even installed them inside the garages of their homes.
"For 250 mile per hour wind storm it would put approximately 8,000 pounds of tipping pressure on this building," said Shetler.
Even if the house around the residents is blown completely away, the shelter will still be there.
Shetler assured us, "It's not going anywhere."
Shelters like this one are more common in the deep South and the Plains but Shetler thinks they will be gaining in popularity here, too.