It was like a scene from that horror movie Poltergeist, where in the night, something reaches in and grabs a child. But instead of a tree limb, this was far more deadly, and played out for real during this past April in the quiet bedroom community of Louisville, Mississippi.
Dennis Taylor, with his wife and daughter, were waiting out a terrible storm, and had secured themselves in the middle of their house for safety. Suddenly, the roar of a thousand jet engines fell on them like an anvil and shook the house to its foundation. A massive crack opened in the walls of the hallway. Lights went out, darkness fell, and creaking, snapping, hissing forces suddenly ripped into the house with screaming wind and terror, turning their fears into a sudden and stark nightmare.
They stole glimpses to see half their house simply disappear into the black. It was the edge of a huge tornado that took it away, passing right through their home. The family huddled together, holding to anything nailed down to avoid being drawn into the pull of the 185-mph winds.
When it was over, only the hallway and a few uprights remained of their home.
The F4 tornado that struck Mississippi on April 28 was three-fourths of a mile wide and was tracked for 35 miles. It did untold damage, taking at least 16 lives and millions in property destroyed, a heart-wrenching tragedy by any measure of compassion and comparison.
For this family, however, there are two good pieces of news. First, the family was okay and survived.
Second, the family’s expensive possessions—jewelry, gold, guns, important papers—all survived just fine because they were kept safe, dry, unharmed and gratefully protected inside the armored walls of a Liberty safe.
It was an older Liberty, a Franklin 45 built in 1996. Standing on the carpet of a back room, the heavy safe was lifted by the tornado’s power and thrown about ten feet, leaving it buried beneath rubble.
In the days after the destruction, Dennis had a friend with a backhoe dig through the twisted remains of the house to find the safe and set it upright. He dialed the combination and the door opened right up. Though the paint took some scratches and things inside were tumbled around, “everything was taken care of,” Dennis said.
Once again, a tornado takes almost everything, but leaves behind a miracle of sorts—a family grateful to be alive, and their most valuable material belongings smartly protected inside the best insurance that money can buy—a safe made by Liberty.
Liberty Safe–the best-built safes in the world.
BELOW: Click play to view a YouTube testimonial by Dennis Taylor and to see the remains of his family’s home after being hit by the April 2014 tornado.