Oklahoma City, OK — Celebrating 10 years since the start of the initiative, locally owned Homes By Taber renewed their commitment to Spring safety with the integration of EF5 rated storm shelters in each new home they build in the Oklahoma City area.
“Storm shelters should be a code requirement in Oklahoma, and I don’t understand why other builders don’t include them,” owner Taber LeBlac said. “Storm Safe Shelters are installed in every garage floor of every home built by Homes By Taber. It’s an included feature, and not an upgrade as it is with other builders.”
LeBlanc made this bold statement after a tornado hit his own neighborhood in February 2009. He rushed home to find the neighborhood full of debris, but his family safe in their tornado shelter. That February tied for the highest total on record with six tornadoes, but the month of May consistently leads the year with an average of 23.2 and a high of 91 in 2010.
“It’s our responsibility as a homebuilder to build a safe home,” he added. “In Oklahoma, that includes providing safe shelter from tornadoes. I know that the financial return on investment doesn’t make sense to some builders, but we don’t put a price on safety.”
That event led him to start utilizing Oklahoma-based Storm Safe Shelters, who has built and installed storm shelters in Oklahoma since 1987. They were the first to install systems in garage floors, have a Registered Professional Engineer seal, are EF5-tested by the Texas Tech Wind Science Engineering Research Center and meet FEMA standards.
Their shelters are tested and certified to withstand an EF5 tornado, which tops the scale but accounts for just one percent of occurrences. Of the 34 that have occurred so far in May, none have ranked past EF3.
This is part of Homes By Taber’s larger “Proudly Overbuilt” philosophy which aims to improve safety and comfort in each of their homes. This includes features like the storm shelters, full wired security systems and highly-rated MERV air filtration systems.
About Homes by Taber: Homes By Taber, an award-winning home builder in the Oklahoma City metro area, offers new, energy-efficient homes starting at 1,500 square feet of indoor living space and going up to 3,350 square feet of indoor living space. Prices for these new single-family homes start in the low $200,000 range and go up to the mid $500,000 range. Homes By Taber was founded in 2000 by Taber LeBlanc and currently builds in 17 different locations with new homes for sale in Deer Creek, Edmond, Moore, Mustang, Norman, Oklahoma City, Piedmont and Yukon.