By: Neily Chapman
Officials in Pike County, Miss. recently celebrated the completion of the Pike County Community Safe Room - 150 days ahead of schedule. The community safe room is 13,000 square feet and can house 1,300 people for up to 36 hours during a severe weather event.
Meanwhile, parents in Wayne County, Miss. can breathe a little easier if a tornado strikes while their children are in school. Thanks to funding from FEMA, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Wayne County School District, four ribbon cutting ceremonies were held on March 26 to mark the completion of 12 Wayne County safe rooms. The largest safe rooms are capable of housing up to 1,600 people during a tornado or hurricane event. In all, nearly 7,500 people can be housed in the completed safe rooms.
The safe rooms in Pike and Wayne counties were all built to FEMA 361 standards and constructed to maintain structural integrity with winds of up to 200 mph, as well as withstanding debris traveling at 100 mph. The facilities include backup water and sewer systems, a reserve power generator, restrooms and all other sheltering necessities.