OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A well-known tornado shelter company has closed its doors. Some customers with leaky shelters have now turned to KFOR, wondering what this means for their warranty.
Jason Haney had heard tales of Oklahoma severe weather when he moved to the Sooner State last year.
“Tornadoes happen, but generally you’re not given much notice,” he said. “I was like, I got to get [a storm shelter] to protect the family.”
He shopped around, found Tornado Safe Shelters LLC, and opted for an in-ground “infinity shelter” to be placed in his garage.
“So I saw their design and I was like, this is good stuff,” Jason said. “You know, it’s a plastic shell inside of concrete. And their reviews looked OK at the time.”
He tells our team he paid close to $4-thousand. His shelter was installed in late 2021.
Come spring time though, Jason found a mess beneath his garage.
“I went to do my spring cleaning and prep for a tornado season, and found about a foot, foot and a half [of water],” he explained.
Luckily, he says he was covered by a warranty.
After several attempts, he reached the company.
“[Tornado Safe] emailed me back saying we’re tracking your issue. We’ll send out a contractor to take a look at it and fix it,” he said. “April 7th was when they were supposed to come out. So I took off work and made sure that either my wife or myself was here too.”
But Tornado Safe never showed, and still hadn’t been to Jason’s house when News 4 stopped by in June.
Jason is now left to empty water out of his shelter every few weeks.
The company was once one of the larger shelter distributors in the state.
They’ve been featured on In Your Corner before, after giving away a shelter free of charge. This was part of a home makeover, after a woman had fell victim to a suspect contractor in 2016.
When News 4 stopped by their massive storeroom in 2022, we found a locked door with a sign reading “Showroom Closed, sold out for season,” along with utility cut off notices.
Amidst the letters in the door, was one from a customer named Patrick Stewart. Patrick claimed in his note, his shelter was stuck in the lobby.
“It’s in the lobby right now,” he said. “You can look through the window and see my name is written on it.”
Patrick purchased his shelter in February, and had hoped to pick it up sometime this summer.
His attempts at reaching the business had been unsuccessful.
“You know, as a business owner, I would expect at least a call back,” he said. “At least a response to my email to let me know what the circumstances are.”
A quick search through court records show Tornado Safe is currently in a dispute with the state.
The Department of Corrections (DOC) previously provided the business with shelters. DOC is now suing Tornado Safe for breach of contract, for $50-thousand.
We spoke with owner Darrin Humphrey on the phone. He said the ongoing dispute with DOC crippled his business, and that there’s much more to the story than the lawsuit.
“[DOC] canceled our contract for no reason,” Darrin claimed. “We didn’t see it coming. I mean, they have been our manufacturers since day one and they cut it off.”
Darrin tells In Your Corner he hasn’t been involved with day to day operations for nearly a year, but said he’d take care of his customer’s complaints.
To his credit, the customers we alerted him too have had their issues resolved.
Patrick received his shelter from the lobby the day after our interview. Jason Haney tells News 4, crews fixed his leaky shelter over the weekend.
DOC says they were unable to comment on the situation, due to the pending litigation.