MIDDLETOWN, OHIO — Severe weather is a staple of hyperventilating local TV meteorologists. They know where to send the camera crews: Granger Plastics Co.
So does The Weather Channel. So does Netflix's new show, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
The reason: Granger makes rotationally molded storm shelters. Think Auntie Em and Uncle Henry yelling “Dorothy! Dorothy!” before finally slamming shut the shelter door in “The Wizard of Oz,” only plastic.
Granger's ISS Tornado Shelter is all-polyethylene, except for some mounting hardware and the pneumatic cylinders, like the ones on the hood of your car, which make the door easy to open. That door can withstand the Federal Emergency Management Agency missile impact test of a 15-pound 2x4 wooden board traveling at 100 mph.
The door is the most critical part of an underground storm shelter. Granger's rotomolded shelter door has a sheet of polycarbonate sandwiched between two linear low density polyethylene sides. (Granger also makes a bulletproof entry door for a house that is reinforced by a special woven-fabric composite material.)
The Granger shelter, which sells for $5,995, can seat six or more people. With excavation and installation, the total can run about $7,000. The double-walled, foam-filled shelter has a reverse taper design so it is self-anchoring. It comes with a lifetime warranty.
Granger rotomolds other products at its plant in Middletown. Air cargo shipping containers. Burial urns and cemetery vases. Parts for military contractors. A poker table. The company also does custom molding on its three rotomolding machines: A Ferry offset-arm machine with a 160-inch swing, a two independent-arm machines — a 120-inch McNeil and a 110-inch REI.
But the Granger ISS Tornado Shelter gets the headlines. Like the lengthy Weather Channel segment last year.
“They sought us out on that one. We had to scramble to make that happen,” President Jim Cravens said.