A safe haven from the storm

Joplin residents are picking up the pieces and are rebuilding their community and as they do so, many are considering different options for safe places if severe weather strikes again.

One option is a safe room; KRCG TMs Meghan Lane looked into if that is a feasible option for cash strapped families.

Joplin residents only had about 20 minutes warning before the EF-5 twister hit.

It Destroyed 30% of their city and killed more than 150 people.

After the tragedy many people learned that sometimes the lowest place in their home isn't good enough.

One Joplin man created a safe shelter in his home.

"You TMre safe, I mean you feel safe, this construction and rebar all the way around, I think its eight to ten inches thick in some places," Rick Gunlock said.

Safe rooms are made of concrete from the floor to the ceiling.

Shelters like Gunlock TMs can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $5,000.

But in this economy, many people don't have that kind of money.

Residents in Holts Summit have another option, a community emergency center.

"Well, you've got several trailer parks in the community that have not shelters and then, you've got a lot of new construction on slab foundations, Holts Summit Police Chief Kyle McIntyre said. There TMs no basement to them."

Holts Summit TMs community shelter can hold up to 395 people.

The exterior walls are at least a foot thick and are made up of concrete and reinforced steel.

"It TMs built for temporary use so the 395 comes from the formula from FEMA, McIntyre said. I wouldn't want to stay in there more than 20 to 30 minutes with it full but I think we could get a lot more than 395 people in there too."

The shelter was built to withstand 270 mile an hour winds, and has been used quite a bit this year.

"We TMve opened it up several times, McIntyre said. When we had the last threat of tornadoes here I know we had about 160 people that came to the shelter and we were able to get them in here with plenty of room obviously."

The bottom line, be prepared for severe weather: build a safe room or find a secure shelter to stay in.

McIntyre said the shelter is open to anyone who needs it no matter where they live.

Check with your community for other options like churches and community buildings designated for public use during a storm.