Storms boosting shelter sales

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: April 20, 2012 6:00 am ET

Workers install an underground tornado shelter from rotational molder Granger Plastics Co. At left, the shelter is in place. (Granger Plastics Co. photo)

Related to this story

Topics Consumer Products, Rotomolding

MIDDLETOWN, OHIO (April 20, 2:30 p.m. ET) — Recent tornado touchdowns near Dallas had the usual impact on Granger Plastics Co. — a spike in sales of its tornado shelters.

The Middletown rotational molder makes the shelters for markets across the country and every time a tornado hits the news, residents and businesses everywhere think about how they might protect themselves.

“We are in the business of saving lives,” Alli Cravens, Granger sales and marketing representative, said in an April 4 telephone interview. “This is a fear-driven business.”

Granger has been making tornado shelters for 17 years but in the past three years it has been supplying a much-improved shelter, Cravens said. While the structure is rotomolded from linear low density polyethylene, the door — the most critical part — has a sheet of polycarbonate sandwiched between two LLDPE sides. Also, a reversed-taper design allows the shelter to self-anchor in the ground, unlike most rival designs, which need a concrete base to hold them underground. The unit has a double-wall construction comprising a half-inch-thick inner wall and a half-inch outer wall.

Cravens said the biggest market is in the South. Alabama, for example, has a federal grant program to help homeowners acquire and set up shelters. List price for the new version of the shelter is $5,995. Excavation costs vary depending on the geology of the site. Typically the shelter floor is 62-68 inches below ground level. The door is the most exposed part of the shelter and therefore a focus for engineering and development.

Granger’s models compete with tornado shelters made of various materials, including fiberglass and steel.

Cravens said sales occur year-round for the shelters as residents prepare for the main tornado season of March to June, but demand does jump whenever a major tornado strikes. In 2012 there was significant tornado activity in January and February, spurring high sales earlier in the year than normal. Residents and businesses both are consumers of the shelters.

Granger’s tornado shelter is designed for a family of five but can hold up to seven in a pinch. They comprise a top, bottom, door, vent and stairs, which are all assembled at Middletown before the shelters are shipped.

Cravens said interest also is growing in the shelters as a defense against home invasions. The company is working on a bullet-resistant door to address that market.


Comments

Storms boosting shelter sales

By Michael Lauzon
Correspondent

Published: April 20, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Rail improvements also allow rotomolder to improve operations

July 24, 2014 3:10 pm ET

An infrastructure improvement grant from the U.S. Commerce Department is helping an Indiana plastics plant expand its product line and add jobs.    More

Image

Bayer PC used for lightweight, durable luggage collection

July 24, 2014 10:52 am ET

Bayer MaterialScience has partnered with U.S.-based travel goods manufacturer Andiamo Luggage LLC to create a special plastic for suitcases that is...    More

Image

Contigo, Avex buy lets Newell Rubbermaid leapfrog new bottle development

July 22, 2014 4:11 pm ET

Newell Rubbermaid Inc. is ready to accelerate its move into the reusable water bottle business with the purchase of two on-the-go drinkware brands.    More

Image

Newell Rubbermaid to acquire Contigo brand

July 21, 2014 5:00 pm ET

Consumer products company Newell Rubbermaid Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Ignite Holdings LLC, owner of the Contigo and Avex brands of...    More

Image

Finding the picture-perfect use of scrap PS

July 17, 2014 12:26 pm ET

Shanghai Intco Industries Co. Ltd. was established 20 years ago in the United States as a trading company, but now based in China, the firm claims to ...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events