Storm Shelters, Basements Common for Lubbock Home Builder

Published 04/28 2014 09:42PM

Updated 04/28 2014 11:00PM

By Monica Yantosh

LUBBOCK, TX -- One local home builder said they typically put in basements, and will often talk about storm shelters if the home isn't going to have a basement.

"Because we've always been a part of, quote 'Tornado Alley' here in Lubbock, TX, and it's something that we see quite often," Rod Burgett, project manager at Dan Wilson Homes in Lubbock said.

Burgett said at Dan Wilson, they will typically build basements into the homes, and not just for the extra room or home value.

"Basements are, the way we construct them, that's the place to go in a storm, a very, very safe place to be," Burgett said.

Burgett said it's okay if you're home wasn't built with a basement. He's said recently, they've had people call and ask to have a room in the home retro-fitted to become a storm shelter. That process involves gutting the room down to the frame.

"Little bit more involved for sure, but That's something I've seen more people doing than in the past, for sure, just cause they have an existing house, can't put a basement in it, but you can retro-fit a closet or a bathroom or something like that and make it a storm shelter," Burgett said.

Texas Tech Wind Engineering has done experiments with storm strength winds over the years, and the research from there has impacted how some things have been built.

"Tech was inturmental in some of those things we did in the past and still continue to be," Burgett said.

It could cost a few thousand dollars to put a storm shelter into an existing home, and it's a process that could take a few weeks. How much it could cost, and how long, depends on how big of a room you are installing.

It is also recommended that you register your storm shelter with your city or county. If you live in the Lubbock city limits, you register
here, but if you live in Lubbock county, you register here.

Check with the emergency management operations in your city or county to check where you can register.

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