ST. LOUIS (AP) — Forget toasters, blenders and slow cookers. Some engaged couples in Tornado Alley have a more practical gift request: Donations toward safe rooms.
Sales of safe rooms are on the rise since a series of devastating twisters hit the Midwest and South in recent years.
The pre-fabricated rooms feature thick steel walls and doors that can withstand winds up to 250 mph. Most are small and built in a garage or closet and cost $3,000 to $7,000.
Kayla and Ricky Smith of Joplin, Missouri, were able to pay for a $5,200 safe room with wedding gift donations in 2013. The couple already had plenty of household goods that typically make up wedding gifts, and Kayla Smith says their main concern was staying safe in the next big storm.