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Experts Warn About Weak Storm Shelters

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DALLAS(CBSDFW.COM) - The important thing for people to know if they're thinking about installing a storm shelter is that they have several options. One of the concerns with some of the shelters that had problems in Oklahoma City is they may not have been properly bolted. American Tornado Master makes an above ground shelter designed to withstand an F5 tornado. Bolts that can withstand 7000 lbs of pressure have 15 different connections to a concrete slab.

The image of a below-ground shelter floating in rainwater has circulated across social media and has some worrying about their own storm shelters and others asking if they should even bother building one. Specialists who install shelters tell CBS11 this is a problem that could have likely been prevented with better quality work. It's a reminder for customers to be especially careful about who they hire to do the installation.

Shelter experts warn that installation companies will pop up after storms, going door-to-door offering to do work that can turn out to be poor-quality. Bill Stegman with American Tornado Master says you have to do your research on any company you hire to do this kind of work.

"There's better ways to do this. In my mind, when you're dealing with life-saving equipment, you do it all the way, the best way, or you just don't do it," Stegman said.

He recommends checking a company's rating with the Better Business Bureau, and making sure that the installer is a member of both the American Storm Shelter Association and the National Storm Shelter Association. That way you know the shelters have been tested and that the company is insured.

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