PREBLE COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) - When the skies start to darken and suddenly you don't feel so welcome outside anymore, some have turned to the comforting sight of one plastic protector in the ground.
"I'm really glad we got it," says Sue of her Tornado Safety Shelter. "Haven't had a moment where I thought it was the wrong thing to do."
It all started as a joke of sorts.
"I had been kidding with my friends down the road and I said if I can ever find somebody to put a tornado shelter in, I'm going to get it," Sue says.
But soon what seemed silly turned into a serious thought.
"What really sealed it for me was when the tornadoes hit Indiana and Kentucky," Sue says of the storms that struck in March.
If you took a quick glance at the shelter, it would look like a yard ornament. A strange yard ornament, but just a yard ornament.
That is until you open it up.
"What I always tell my customers, 'I hope you never have to use it, but if you do it's there,'" says Phil Smith with Tornado Safety Shelters.
Inside there's a light, carpeting and more importantly room for five to seven people to take shelter from a storm or any disaster.
"Most of the time folks bring their cats or dogs or birds in," Smith says. "You can actually fit more folks inside if you want to put children on your lap."
Sue says she's already used the shelter twice since having it installed in April.
She's not alone.
The large amount of early spring tornadoes led Tornado Safety Shelters to sell out its stock of 80 in less than three hours.
"The production couldn't keep up for weeks and weeks, there was such a demand for tornado shelters," Smith says.
The shelter is designed to withstand any piece of debris, but what it's really offering is peace of mind.
"We have grandchildren and when they're here if something happens I want someplace to put them other than the bathroom," Sue says.
Ohio is offering 150 rebates to people to buy storm shelters or safe rooms. For more information click here .
Logan, Darke, Preble, Greene and Wayne County, Indiana are under level one snow emergencies. Butler County is under a level two snow emergency.
Snowfall reports vary across the Miami Valley as the storm continues to produce heavy snow, making it hard for drivers to see in some cases.
People's daily routines were definitely impacted by the wintry blast Friday.
The first wave of the storm brought hazardous conditions to the Greenville area in Darke County.