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Hartselle featured in documentary on monster storms

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Part of a severe weather documentary for National Geographic Channel was filmed in Hartselle last week thanks to the donation of a Safe-T-Shelter by Applied Solar Technology of Massey.
The sphere-shaped shelter, which has a capacity for 10 people, was installed underground at Fire Station No. 1. Each part of the operation was documented by a film crew from Actuality Productions of Los Angeles, Calif. Heading the crew as production director was Nicholas Stein. Reuben Aaronson was the cameraman and Bruce Brooks the sound technician.
Stein said the storm shelter shoot was the third and final part of the first of three one-hour programs his company is producing for National Geographics under the title of "Anatomy of a Natural Disaster." They are tentatively scheduled for airing in March 2006.
"This show centers around the Palm Sunday tornado at Goshen in 1994 as well as others in Pickens County, Ga. and Cherokee County, Ala.," Stein stated. The Hartselle segment deals with how we can use technology to stay safe in a tornado or other natural disaster. Another part of it will focus on a new tornado detection system which is under development in Huntsville at Vortec LLC."
"They (Actuality Productions) found our website and contacted us by email," said Applied Solar Technology President Robert Mitchell. "They wanted to film one of our Safe-T-Shelters being installed and asked us if we would be willing to donate one to the Hartselle Fire Department. We were happy to comply. Exposure in a National Geographics film is something we couldn't buy. It's a blessing in disguise for us."
Mitchell said the shelter his company donated is a second generation model introduced five years ago. It is eight feet in diameter, double hull construction, and is constructed of industrial grade polymers. It has a FEMA certified aluminum door with stainless steel fittings, a high capacity ventilation system, interior light and molded seating. The hull is watertight, environmentally safe and virtually maintenance-free.
He said Sate-T-Shelters are growing in popularity and are currently being marketed in 15 states. His company also specializes in community storm shelters and safe rooms.
"We're pleased to have the shelter in Hartselle," said Mayor Dwight Tankersley. "It will be used by our emergency response personnel as an extra measure of safety in the event of a storm."
The city's elected officials and fire department personnel observed the shelter's installation and were subjects for the filming of the documentary.

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