Kael Alford for NBC News
Using the controls above, explore this interactive picture. From left to right: Amber Bowie, 37, Johnny Knight 66, Rebecca Garland 63, Janis Knight 62, Jana Portell, 32, Todd Portell, 31, Chase Shelton, 15, and Dan Garland, 65, pose for a portrait around the underground storm shelter that saved their lives during a massive tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma on May 20th. The storm destroyed their 3000 square foot home.
Rebecca and Dan Garland, eight friends and two dogs sought safety in the storm shelter (shown above) at the foot of their house.
With the more than 200 mph whipping winds, Dan struggled to hold the door shut, and Todd Portell and another friend jumped up to help him. That door, dated in pen "05/1/01" for when the shelter was put in, is now bent, revealing the precariousness of their safety.
“The whole storm shelter was vibrating. We thought it was going to suck us out of the ground, the whole thing. It was the most frightening thing I've ever experienced in my life,” Rebecca said. “The sound was 1,000 times at least louder than airplane jets. Your ears were popping, just, pop, pop, pop.” Read the full story by Miranda Leitsinger, NBC News.
More tornado coverage
- Slideshow: Tornadoes ravage plains
- Before and after images of damaged areas in Moore, Okla.
- Full coverage of the Oklahoma tornado tragedy