Family decks out storm shelter for comforting retreat

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OKLAHOMA CITY - This isn't the dark and dingy refuge you'd expect to use during severe weather.

"We had one little scare a few weeks ago, and it seemed kind of counter-intuitive for everything outside to be awful and scary and hail and rain and sirens going off and then I look at the girls and I say 'okay girls now get into the dark scary hole,'" Melissa Scaramucci said.

Festive lighting, appropriate reading material, and fun activities - all designed to keep Melissa Scaramucci’s two girls comfortable and safe.

"I got some outdoor pillows from target with some bright colors that would sort of make it feel more friendly in here," she said.

She also makes sure to keep up with the necessities.

"We got a cute little lantern that goes with the decoration color scheme and our weather radio," Scaramucci said.

It’s all to be weather aware.

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health estimates about a third of tornado victims will develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

Scaramucci hopes this will ease any tension for her daughters.

"So many people were like 'my storm shelter only has dead bugs leaves,' and I was like, 'yeah that sounds awful.'  Why would anyone want to spend, I mean hopefully not a lot of time, but what if something did happen and you're in there for a while?” Scaramucci asked. “That's not a great experience.”

It’s an important fix for a potentially unpleasant situation for this family.

Scaramucci says it cost $200 to deck out her storm shelter.

She says it is fully equipped with water, food, a weather radio, a lantern, a phone charger, and the most expensive item, a camper toilet.

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