How Sukup Builds Safe-T Homes To Protect People From Hurricanes

A version of this blog post by Emily Schmitt, general counsel at Sukup Manufacturing Co., was originally published at

American manufacturing is all about using our ingenuity and innovation to make useful, tangible products. For us at Sukup Manufacturing Co., a family-owned company headquartered in small-town Iowa, those products are primarily for grain storage and grain handling in the agriculture industry.

However, one of our products is useful in a different way. The Sukup Safe T Home® is a modified grain bin that we have transformed into a hurricane-proof structure. The homes can be built in just six hours and are also used as clinics and schools. You can find more than 350 of them around the world in places like Haiti, Peru and Africa. One hundred percent of the 200 homes in Haiti at the time of 2016’s Category 4 Hurricane Matthew survived with minimal damage.

On Saturday, September 8, 2018, we had a unique opportunity to share the Safe T Home® story at the annual football match-up between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Iowa State Cyclones. The “Cy-Hawk” game, as it’s called, is the most high-profile event of the year in Iowa. Bragging rights are on the line, and the rivalry runs deep for most Iowans.

The vision to build a Safe T Home® at the Cy-Hawk game had been in the works for more than three years. Nothing like this had been done before at a Cy-Hawk game, but we wanted to share how modern manufacturing is changing the world with one of the biggest audiences Iowa has to offer.

#GameDayBuild was a flurry of fun and fellowship. The atmosphere, the cameras and the comradery among the athletes made it a wonderful experience. But the best part was coming together as Iowans to build an innovative product that is manufactured in Iowa and saving lives around the world.

#GameDayBuild was an opportunity to showcase how American manufacturing is making a positive difference, and Sukup Manufacturing is so grateful to be part of that story.

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