Safety and relaxation are two of the themes represented at the Home and Garden Show that began Friday at Hearnes Center. The show begins at 10 a.m. today and ends at 4 p.m.
Vendors are showcasing wares such as hot tubs, tornado shelters, cabinets and gutters.
John Grone has his Life-Saver Storm Shelters on display. Manufactured by Southern Illinois Storm Shelters, they are made of fiberglass and do not sweat or mildew like concrete, he said.
The shelters are safer than most basements, Grone said, where the house can collapse on the homeowner.
In 2003, 19 people died in 84 tornadoes in Missouri.
In the center of the show, among the garden, cabinetry and other traditional booths, lies a large hot tub and spa display, representing at least three hot tub and spa companies.
The latest models include an LED display. These models debuted at the show, said Tyler Smith, manager for River Mist Spas.
“It just adds another experience for the customer,” Smith said.
The Columbia Police Department also has a display. Its 1-year-old “Peacekeeper” is a bulletproof vehicle made from a 1982 Cadillac Gage armored personnel carrier that was surplus from the U.S. Air Force.
The vehicle protects officers and citizens from gunfire and could be used to safely distribute tear gas. It is painted in a color scheme similar to other Columbia police cars.