FEMA Safe Rooms

Over $150 Million in Grants Secured For Our Clients

Safe Room Design Team

Our professionals and experienced staff have worked together to provide our clients with the detailed information and services required to design and build a FEMA Safe Room to meet a variety of needs. We have collaborated on over 16 buildings and secured over $27 million of funding for FEMA Safe Room projects. Overall, we have been instrumental in securing over $150 million in approved grants. The FEMA Safe room facilities have included additional classroom space, cafeterias, gymnasiums and other multi­-purpose uses. We have worked with many school districts integrating FEMA Safe rooms into their new and/or existing facilities. The campuses of Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, Missouri and Sikeston, Missouri are just a couple of successful sites where Safe Room projects have recently been completed.

Safe room Design

Dille Pollard Architecture and TOTH & Associates teamed together to design the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center on the campus of Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The FEMA Safe Room is incorporated within the building and utilized as classrooms and ancillary spaces.

FEMA Safe Rooms can be integrated into both new additions and in new facilities with a seamless transition.

FEMA Safe room facts


Fact #1

Safe Rooms can resist EF­5 Tornadoes. Above ground Safe Rooms are designed to ICC 500 and FEMA 361 Standards to withstand the forces of an EF­5 Tornado and provide near absolute protection.

Fact #2

Safe Rooms are now code required. Critical Emergency Operation Facilities and all Group “E” occupancies (schools) with an aggregate occupant load of 50 or more shall have a storm shelter constructed in accordance with ICC 500 where the shelter design wind speed is 250 MPH (IBC 2015 and will remain in ICC’s 2018 International Building Code).

Fact #3

Safe Rooms can have flexible uses. Safe Rooms are designed to serve many uses and integrated into a building’s every day function.

Fact #4

Safe Rooms can have windows. To allow for natural light, windows meeting Safe Room standards can be designed and integrated into the building where required.

Fact #5

Hallways are not suitable safe areas. Hallways are not a safe place as they act as wind tunnels and do not have FEMA rated doors. Flying debris is one of the most common sources of injuries during a tornado.

Scott City R­1 School District FEMA Safe Room is utilized as a theater and art gallery exhibition space.

Safe room funding


Safe Room funding can be available through the FEMA Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) or the Pre­Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM).
The grants can provide funding for Safe Rooms that can cover up to 75% of FEMA eligible construction costs.

Our team has a proven record in preparing grant proposals and applications with foresight and understanding of your project.


View some of our FEMA Safe Room projects below.