At Precision Shelters, for instance, many customers are opting to use a zero percent loan offered by Weokie Credit Union or 0.99 percent financing through Communication Federal Credit Union, said manager Tracy Masters. Their most popular shelter costs $3,295 and accommodates 8 to 10 people.
Sales tend to pick up in January, as people begin thinking about storm season and receiving income tax refunds, she said. Sales remain steady through the fall, then drop off.
But after May 20, she said the company began receiving more than 200 calls a day.
Hood, of Smart Shelters, said people tend to take a reactive approach versus a proactive approach.
“There have been so many tornadoes lately,” he said. “People who have been putting it off in the past have finally decided I'm not going to put it off any more."
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At a glance
SoonerSafe rebate program
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management manages the SoonerSafe program, which provides randomly selected applicants a rebate of up to $2,000 for storm shelters. Recipients for 2013 have already been chosen, but online applications are accepted year round.
The program, which is funded through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, was able to provide rebates to more than 500 people this year. Department spokeswoman Keli Cain expects the state to receive additional hazard mitigation funding for the recent tornadoes.
SoonerSafe rebates can't be used on a shelter that's already installed. To apply or find out more, visit tinyurl.com/SoonerSafe.