In wake of severe storms, N. Texans look to safe rooms

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 2:42 PM

PROSPER –– The destruction in Granbury and Cleburne have families across North Texas reevaluating their own safety. 

Some say that hiding in the bathroom, laundry room or even the kitchen pantry is simply not enough. Prosper homeowner John Donaghey ordered a six by four safe room before Wednesday's dangerous storms left a trail of destruction across North Texas.

"You saw some of the homes on TV, they were really big homes. They look like they were nicely constructed," Donaghey said. "But even those were torn apart."

An Arlington company that sells safe rooms and underground shelters installed the Donagheys' at their Prosper home on Friday.

The safe room weighs 2,500 pounds. It's composed of solid steel three sixteenths of an inch thick.  It's designed to handle winds up to 250 miles per hour.

"It'll be fine. It'll be there tomorrow," said Tay Kykendall, an employee at Texas Tornado Safe Rooms. "Your family will live."    

The safe room is bolted down with 16-inch bolts that are set six inches deep into the concrete foundation. Donaghey says the $6,000 he paid is an investment in his family's safety.

"It's a small price to pay. In my mind, if it saves your life one day or your family's life, I think it's worth it," he said. 

Kuykendall, one of the installers, is the son of the company's owner. He says he installed a six-by-four saferoom in his own garage for the same reasons.

"I have grandkids and I wanted to make sure they were safe," Kuykendall said.

It's terrifying images of devastation like what was seen in Cleburne and Granbury on Wednesday night that have homeowners like Donaghey willing to make changes that offer protection and peace of mind.

Email sstoler@wfaa.com

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