{{show_title_date || "Oklahoma Lt. Gov.: Safe houses are a personal choice, 5/22/13, 11:40 AM ET"}}

Inside the safe room that saved lives in Oklahoma


A safe room saved a Moore couple and their neighbors from injury when a massive tornado hit the Oklahoma town Monday. Their home was destroyed and they believe they wouldn’t have survived otherwise. The couple walked inside and once the tornado was getting close, they thought they heard hail. But, what they actually heard was their neighbors banging on the door to be let inside.

“And as soon as they stepped [inside] we heard it go by,” the owner said.

“How close was it from the time you let you neighbors in, to when it passed?” Chris Jansing asked.

“It was about a minute,” he answered.

Chris Jansing toured the 12-by-14 room Wednesday. It came with the home when the owners purchased it.

Only 10% of homes in Moore have shelters. The Mayor plans to propose an ordinance to mandate new homes must be built with one. A pre-fabricated shelter starts at $4 thousand and could typically cost between eight and ten thousand dollars.

“It’s a personal choice,” said Lt. Governor Todd Lamb Wednesday. “We don’t have a shelter at my home, just three days ago, my family did what just happened there. My family, my wife, our kids went next door to our neighbors pounded on the door went inside their shelter.”

There is no community shelter in Moore and neither Plaza Towers Elementary School, nor Briarwood Elementary school had shelters. Both took directed hits from the tornado.

“It’s something to think about. I think you’ll see a public debate on securing and having shelters for schools,” Lamb said.


Inside the safe room that saved lives in Oklahoma