In the past, we've fielded questions (during severe weather events primarily) about storm shelters. Do we suggest having one? How effective are they? Can we recommend a particular company? So far, the answers to these questions have been: yes, if you can afford it we suggest one; they can be very effective, especially for those looking for some piece of mind when sirens are sounding (besides keeping you safe in an actual tornadic event); and no, we don't have a recommendation. The answer to the final question has now changed!
http://www.takecovershelters.com). Take Cover Storm Shelters is owned by David Carson and operated by his daughter and son-in-law, Jessica and Jon Everson of Hickory Withe, TN. They are a great family and are very customer-centered, making sure that each shelter recipient is fully satisfied with the entire process and purchase.
We'll have more on their shelter installation process in a separate blog post, but we want to tell you more about the Take Cover business model. As with many small businesses, it started as a way to fill a need. Jon and Jessica have small children and Jessica was afraid of storms. She worried about her young family when the sirens sounded and tried to overcome that fear with information from local TV sources, the internet, etc. It wasn't enough, and she and Jon determined that a family storm shelter would provide peace of mind. Others found out they had a shelter installed and they inquired about getting one for themselves. It was soon thereafter that the Eversons decided an opportunity had arisen and began Take Cover Shelters as a small business.
For the first several shelter installations, the Eversons purchased pre-made shelters from a company in Oklahoma (where he also was trained on the installation process), transported them to Memphis, and installed them at the customer's homes. Soon though, they discovered that they could increase profits, while also decreasing the sales price, by manufacturing the shelters themselves. Jessica's father purchased the company from them, allowing Jon and Jessica more freedom to run the day-to-day operations. (David also assists in building and installing the shelters.) Jon again went to Oklahoma to learn the fabrication process and came back armed with knowledge. They now control the entire process themselves, from manufacturing the shelters, to installation, to final cleanup and training the homeowner. By using this model, they can be assured of a job well done, tweaking the process for efficiency, while also saving the customer money by not outsourcing any part of the process.
One other unique part of their business model is that a percentage of the profits from each sale go to charity. The customer is asked to select a Christian-based charity from a pre-determined list of the Eversons favorites, including Compassion, New Tribes Missions, Christian Relief Fund, Prison Fellowship, Samaritan's Purse, and Young Life. The chosen organization is sent a check upon completion of the installation! Jon and Jessica feel like this is their way of giving back and enables them to support some charities that they are passionate about.
A Take Cover storm shelter is constructed of welded 10 gauge steel with a 1/4" steel lid, and is placed in the ground, usually in the homeowner's garage floor, in one day. It is accessible even with a car parked above it, installed flush to the garage floor, is easy to operate, and engineered to withstand a direct impact by a violent tornado. (In fact, the engineering report on their shelters indicates that they will withstand loads three times the federal requirements.) We'll have more details on the shelter itself and the installation process soon. In the meantime, we strongly encourage you to check out Take Cover Storm Shelters (901-626-1691) if you are considering the purchase of a storm shelter. You have our assurance, you will not be disappointed! Tell them MemphisWeather.net sent you for a special offer!
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