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What to know about storm shelters following tornadoes

Southwest Georgia has seen its share of severe weather in the past month, but in the event it strikes again, some residents have started formulating their go-to plans.

Mike Smith, president of Great American Storm Shelters, said they’ve received calls from throughout the area about permanent shelters following the tornadoes and straight-line wind damage.

Smith said options include above-ground safe rooms, in-ground structures in garages and in-ground outside concrete shelters for mobile homes or garage-less homes.

These structures can withstand EF-5 tornadoes, which have wind speeds of at least 250 miles per hour, according to Smith.

“We have people every year, their house is completely gone, and the only thing that’s there is the slab and the shelter. That’s a good call that we get — you know, they lost their belongings, but they’re alive,” he said.

Smith said most residential options start around $4,000 and can be installed within a few hours, while larger structures, which can hold around 100 people, will take longer and cost more.

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