My name is Matt Cobb. I am a husband, father, United States Marine Corps veteran and the owner of South Wind Shelters & Safe Rooms.
In May of 2011, my family was celebrating my daughter's birthday when a large funnel cloud traveled toward our house. This scenario frequently entered my mind but I always ignored it. There we were, "sheltering" in our half basement. The funnel cloud went directly over our house but never touched down. We got lucky, but Joplin, MO was devastated by a large tornado later that day. After this, I accepted responsibility for my family's safety and decided to buy a tornado shelter.
I soon discovered that most tornado shelters are designed and built to minimally meet FEMA's testing guidelines. I couldn't believe how mangled the shelters and doors were, yet they actually passed testing. I wasn't concerned about a single 2x4 flying through the air. I was worried about a vehicle getting thrown and the house collapsing. The lack of innovation in the industry was also disappointing. Having welding and steel fabrication experience, I spent the next year researching tornado shelter guidelines and building my own.
My family was set, but what about everyone else? Believing that everyone needs a safe place, I spent the next four years refining and testing my design. The result is what may be the strongest, most versatile, most cost-effective tornado shelter on the market.
Check out the models page to learn more.
South Wind Shelters and Safe Rooms are built with your family in mind, in my hometown of Topeka, KS.
We sell and install two types of tornado shelters:
1. Above Ground Fully Enclosed: can be installed virtually anywhere. New and existing construction, inside, outside--anywhere there is a 3.5" thick reinforced concrete slab.
2. Basement Model: installed in a concrete corner or along a concrete wall. This saves you money while still offering near absolute protection.
We do not bury our shelters in your yard--we anchor to concrete. Think twice before installing a cellar or trap door type shelter. The last thing your family should do when the sirens go off is run outside. And what happens if your car is parked over the flush-mount trap door shelter in your garage floor, or something falls on top of it?