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Some homeowners adding storm shelters

By Angela Yingling
Published On: May 22 2013 04:54:02 PM CDT
Updated On: May 21 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT

After the tornadoes hit Oklahoma many people are thinking about where they would seek safety in times of severe weather. We checked locally to find out how people can make their home safe in case of stormy weather.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. -

After the tornadoes hit Oklahoma many people are thinking about where they would seek safety in times of severe weather. We checked locally to find out how people can make their home safe in case of stormy weather.

Tommy Litton and his family are still unpacking boxes in their new home. This new house has something their former house didn't: a storm shelter. "For safety, you know a place we could go to get out of the storm," explains Litton.

Litton worked with Berry Home Centers to take the space under the front porch and add some extra concrete and steel reinforcements.

We're told it's easier and more affordable to put a shelter in place during home construction, but if it's too late for that you can still make a safe place for your family. "Any time you've got a lot of post and beam work, that is the area you want to try to target," says Marty Jesesee with Berry Home Centers.

Marty Jessee with Berry Home Center says basements are best, but if you don't have one you still have options. "If you've got an embankment near your house you can actually go back into those embankments and actually lay block or pour concrete," he explained.

Jessee says it's important to find a strong, sturdy structure, even if it's in the center of your home.

We’re told the cost to add a shelter to a home can vary. Some pre-made shelters can be thousands of dollars, but reinforcing a room with concrete may be a much more affordable option.

Click here to view weather photos from around the area.