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Many Piedmont residents invest in tornado shelters

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The recent outbreak of tornadoes throughout the Midwest has many Piedmont residents thinking about their own safety during a severe weather event.

Instead of going to a closet or basement for protection from a storm, Buddy Fulp with East Coast Machinery and Construction says more and more people are buying storm shelters.

"They [the shelters] feel safe. It is a safe haven that’s what drives us, giving people a piece of mind,” Fulp said.

East Coast Construction is one of the several area businesses that sells the storm shelters.

The structures are buried six feet underground, can be placed next to or away from the house and can hold up to 12 people. The only items above ground are the air vents and the doors, which are built to withstand the pounding from tornado debris.

"It meets all of FEMAS requirements for penetration. It’s double walled so it takes a lot,” Fulp said.

Installation of the shelters can take up to a day, and cost upwards of $7,000.