National Safety Shelters Secure Students and Staff During Recent Tornadoes

Proven safety from natural disasters and armed intruders provided by shelters is credited with increasing student enrollment

FORT PIERCE, Fla., Feb. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- All Quitman school district students and staff were safe and unharmed after a recent tornado struck Hoxie, Arkansas, thanks to the National Safety Shelters pods installed in 2018. Students and staff successfully took refuge in the shelters within 90 seconds, securing everyone without incident. Parents and staff were grateful and impressed with the shelters' performance. Some educators are crediting this assurance of security with increased student enrollment.

"We live in tornado alley, and therefore, we need to be as prepared as possible," said Dennis Truxler, superintendent of the Quitman School District. "A school district southwest of us has been hit by a tornado, and one northeast of us was hit twice. Finding the most effective product for rapidly securing our students and staff was our top priority. We found that in the pods designed by National Safety Shelters." 

The safety pods are rated as able to withstand the highest category (EF5) tornado. They are constructed with ballistic steel used by the U.S. Army for armored vehicles. Schools nationwide must be prepared to keep students and staff safe from active shooters, extreme weather, and natural disasters. Each National Safety Shelters pod is constructed with ballistic level III bullet-proof steel to protect those inside from all threats. 

The shelters can be installed easily into existing classrooms. The design of the pods allows for customization to any amount of square footage and any layout. Most importantly, they are designed to be immediately accessible.

"The process during the tornado was very easy to execute, as each shelter has a door that you simply open and walk in. Teachers asked students to line up, one student was designated to open the door, and students entered in single file before the door was closed. It was simple," said Truxler.

Parents and school board members alike agree that the shelters are "the best safety feature that a school district could invest in to protect their students and staff." Truxler credits the security the shelters provide ― and the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are there ― as part of the reason for the district's 20% increase in student enrollment. Most of the new students have matriculated from neighboring districts. Significantly, revenue from the increase in student enrollment has more than covered the cost of purchasing and installing the shelters.

Melissa Bobo, a mother of two children in the Quitman Schools District, said she is glad the schools have installed the shelters. "I am very grateful that their school is able to provide a safer environment for my children," she said. 

Truxler describes parents' reaction to the shelters as "overwhelmingly positive" and reiterates his gratitude for, and belief in, the investment. "I spent a lot of time researching and reading articles concerning school safety and nothing compares to our shelters. I am 100% satisfied with the security that the shelters produced by National Safety Shelter provide to our students and staff."  

About National Safety Shelters 

National Safety Shelters offers Hide-Away®Shelters with protection from armed intruders and EF-5 tornados with a modular design that can be formatted to fit any need. Please visit to learn more about how National Safety Shelters can protect your school or office.

Media Contact 

Will Loschiavo

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