Airline looks to keep OKC employees grounded with state-of-the-art storm shelters

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Year after year, tornadoes have barreled through Oklahoma, destroying everything in their path.

This year, one business is preparing for the worst.

At Southwest Airlines in Oklahoma City, employees can breathe easier when storm season rolls into town.

On Friday, four massive storm shelters were lowered onto slabs at the National Reservations Facility.

Tommy Goff, with B’ Safe Shelters, says they spent over a year planning and building these shelters and are confident they will live up to the hype.

Goff said, "You cannot build a more substantial shelter than what you see here."

Holding a maximum of 125 people, Southwest Airlines says the four shelters will be able to house all of their nearly 600 employees comfortably.

Goff says Southwest Airlines has been working hard to ensure these shelters are the right fit for their employees.

He said, "This company, in particular, has been very good about involving their employees in the design and the amenities of these shelters."

Goff says these shelters aren't ordinary.

They have lights, an air conditioning unit and many other amenities for a long, unexpected stay.

He said, "They have voice, they have data, telephone, computer terminals for a long stay because sometimes, as you know in Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas, you could spend hours just waiting for the unknown."

One last thing that will be added to the unit is a mounted flat screen TV with satellite service.

Dianna Jones, center leader for Southwest Airlines Reservations Facility, says employee comfort is important but safety is their primary concern.

Jones said, "Due to the recent number of storms and the severity of the storms in this area over the last several years, we wanted to have these shelters installed for the safety of our employees."

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