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Family installed this prefab storm shelter over a decade ago and it ends up saving their lives
When a tornado ripped through their town, they were so glad they made this investment over 10 years ago.
Eduardo Gaskell
12.21.21

A family in Breman, Kentucky credits a storm shelter for saving their lives.

Jordan Evans was out of town with his son Gage when western Kentucky was hit with a really powerful storm. The place, as Jordan described it, looked like a war zone.

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But the storm was making its way towards the rest of the family. The house didn’t have a basement or anything underground where they could hide in But next door to the house was a storm shelter that is 10 feet deep and 12 feet wide.

It was Gage’s stepdad, Justin Pointer, who led all eight members of the family with their two dogs into the small shelter until the tornado made its way past them.

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“It started shaking the lid real bad, we had to hold it down,” Justin recalled.

The shelter may have been tight and uncomfortable, but they did make it out alive. The space provided them protection as the storm wreaked havoc on their home.

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The shelter had been built by Justin’s father around a decade ago. They couldn’t remember how much it cost to build but all that matters now is that they were all safe.

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The shelter’s never been used until the night of December 19.

“He said he’d pay a hundred times more for it right now,” Justin said.

Kentucky took the brunt of the tornado, leaving dozens of missing people. The place looks like a ghost town, like the leftover reminder of a battlefield. It’s easy to lose hope but one man took it upon himself to bring that hope back to the small town of Mayfield.

Jim Finch drove his truck around with a huge grill along with ready-to-cook meals to help feed the tornado victims in the area.

Jim drove around for half an hour with food in his truck such as hamburgers, sausage, eggs, and chicken. He also parked in the middle of the town, where a journalist asked him about his good deed.

“I know they don’t have no electricity, so that means they don’t have no electric, no restaurants, no running water, so I just figured I’d do what I can do,” he explained. “Show up with some food and some water.”

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He was even asked if he had a restaurant. Finch just shook his head, saying, “it just needed to be done.”

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Jim was born in Paducah, Kentucky, and yet he went out of his way to bring aid to tornado-racked Mayfield. People needed food and he provided.

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Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewart O’Nan came out to say that the situation is dire.

“Our infrastructure is so damaged. We have no running water. Our water tower was lost. Our wastewater management was lost, and there’s no natural gas to the city. So we have nothing to rely on there. So that is purely survival at this point for so many of our people.”

They can and will rebuild. It will take time, perseverance, and a whole community to come back. People like Finch are a beacon of hope, a shining light when everything seems dark.

Check out the life-saving storm shelter below!

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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