Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wary of tornadoes, Wisconsin firms installing, selling shelters

Crest Precast was featured in an article in the Journal Sentinel a large statewide Wisconsin newspaper.

Crest Precast Inc., based just across the Mississippi River from La Crosse in La Crescent, Minn., sells commercial and residential storm shelters, said president and co-owner Steve Mader.

The company also has a plant in Barneveld - 90% of which was destroyed by a tornado that killed nine people in 1984. The plant was built in 1994.

Crest decided to get into the storm shelter business in 2008.

The structures are designed and built to withstand 200-mph-plus winds "without sliding or blowing over or collapsing with cars landing on top of them," Mader said.

"We just thought it was kind of a neat product," Mader added. "We've been researching it a long time."

Last year, Crest installed 14 large shelters - they hold 120 people each - for Caterpillar Inc. in Peoria, Ill., Mader said.

In addition to its commercial business, Crest Precast decided it wanted to gain a share of the residential market, and that meant designing something that people would be willing to put in their backyards, Mader said. read entire article...

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