2011 Tornado motivated a local business to help the Joplin community in a big way

Local News

JOPLIN, Mo. — When the tornado struck Joplin a decade ago, it put the community’s safety in jeopardy.

As a result, the safe room industry saw a boom in sales that continues on to this day.

I spoke to one company and it’s work to help keep the community safe.

“If you flash back 10 years ago, you didn’t have time, it was ‘if you hear my voice, seek shelter, and the power went out and it hit.”

When the tornado hit, it left a lot of people worried about their safety and the safety of their loved ones.

Katie Fields, Joplin Resident, says, “By the time I got home, I ran probably about a mile to get to what was left of my house and praying to god that my family was still alive.”

So it’s no surprise this changed the market for safe rooms in the area.

It even inspired a new business.

John Hunter, Atlas Safe Rooms Vice President, says, “Going outside in the weather, getting underground, people didn’t think this was a good solution, and so the Atlas Product was specifically designed really as a response to the demand and meeting a need.”

Places like Atlas Safe Rooms are still seeing profits from people who survived the tornado.

In fact, prior to the start of severe weather season each year, sales begin to spike.

“Just in January we were under a tornado warning, we weren’t even under a watch and it dawned on me, if that happens again I don’t have time to get to my dad’s which is just eight houses down.”

As for installation – all it takes is the right provider and registration.

“With Joplin, you just go on and register with emergency services, it just really depends on your city or your county where you would register that.”

So when the next storm comes, people will know their family is safe.

“Still knowing that you’re against the time clock, and if it hits, it hits. Knowing that I can get up in the middle of the night and have that protection for my family and I, it helps me sleep better at night.”

Reporting in Joplin, Steffen Reals, KSN Local News.

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