Spring tornado season in Oklahoma lasts approximately from March through May. During this time, we get an average of 38 to 40 tornadoes, according to KOCO-TV’s chief meteorologist Damon Lane.
Lane is predicting a heavier than usual volume of tornadoes this spring, due to the influence of La Niña (below-average sea surface temperatures that force stronger easterly winds). Anyone who has lived through a tornado knows the importance of having a storm shelter where you can safely retreat from the power of the devastating winds and flying debris.
For two days in February 2009, Oklahoma was ravaged by six tornadoes. When one of these tornadoes hit his neighborhood, Taber LeBlanc rushed home to check on his family. He couldn’t get closer than a mile away, because of the massive amount of scattered debris. He ran to his home and discovered his family had indeed escaped into their storm shelter. They were safe.
Taber’s home building company, Homes By Taber, provides a storm shelter as an included feature in every home we build. It’s not an option, because Taber knows it’s a must for anyone living in Oklahoma.
“Storm shelters should be a code requirement in Oklahoma, and I don’t understand why other builders don’t include them,” he said. Storm Safe Shelters are installed in every garage floor of every home built by Homes By Taber. It’s an included feature and not an upgrade as it is with other builders.
As a result, Homes by Taber is the largest purchaser of storm shelters in the United States. It’s more important than that. Storm Safe Shelters is based in Oklahoma City and they know what it takes to protect people from the power of a raging tornado.
These tornado shelters have been tested and certified by the Texas Wind Institute to withstand even an EF5 tornado, the most intense rating for tornadoes—a rare one that accounts for only one percent of all tornadoes. An EF5 tornado hit Oklahoma City in May 2013 with winds of early 295 miles per hour.
“It’s our responsibility as a home builder to build a safe home. In Oklahoma, that includes providing safe shelter from tornadoes. I know that the financial return on investment doesn’t make sense to some builders, but we don’t put a price on safety.”
If you don’t have a tornado shelter, contact Storm Safe Shelter. If you’re planning a move, rely on Homes By Taber to provide you with a custom home that has safety built into it.