PEA RIDGE (KFSM) -- With severe storms on the way, Pea Ridge residents are breathing easier having a state of the art storm shelter.
"I think it's very comforting to know that I can drive within a mile of the school and be protected here," said Jasmine Collins.
Collins said she lost her best friend to a tornado that blew through Atkins, Arkansas in 2008.
"If she had a safe place she would have been able to possibly survive," Collins said. "Because she didn't have a safe place they had to find a place in their house, and their house was totally destroyed."
Pea Ridge’s emergency shelter is located behind Pea Ridge High School and can hold up to 800 people. It has its own generator to provide electricity during storms and is open to the public.
The state of the art building is the only one of its kind in Benton County.
"This building is built to specs to withstand a tornado with winds up to 250 miles per hour." according to Pea Ridge Public Schools Asst. Superintendent, Keith Martin.
"Every time the tornado sirens are activated the doors open. So whether it's 1 a.m. or 1 p.m. the shelter is open for our public," Martin said.
For more information on the storm shelter, CLICK HERE.