Indianapolis, IN -- Shoppers heading to the Castleton Mall Friday, Saturday or Sunday will be able to see a model of a Safe Room. State and federal mitigation officers also will have literature and building plans free for the asking for anyone interested in adding such a wind resistant structure to their home. Safe Rooms save lives!
A Safe Room is an in-home tornado shelter built to withstand extreme windstorms and wind-borne debris where you and your family can survive a tornado with little or no injury. The Safe Room exhibit will be traveling to other locations in upcoming weeks: Nov. 1 - 3 at Washington Square Mall; on Nov. 8 - 10 at the Circle Center Mall.
"Putting this Safe Room on display now is important so people can learn about wind-resistant construction techniques as they are rebuilding in the aftermath of the tornadoes and severe storms," Bill Lokey, Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinating officer, said.
FEMA, in cooperation with the Wind Engineering Research Center of Texas Tech University, developed designs for wind shelters, like the Safe Room that will be on display, based on 25 years of field research. Visitors to the model Safe Room can learn how they can build a shelter inside their houses that will provide protection against winds of up to 250 miles per hour and windborne debris traveling at 100 miles an hour.
"As Hoosiers know all too well, Indiana is a prime target for tornadoes," Patrick R. Ralston, Indiana State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) state coordinating officer, said. "We have more tornadoes and suffer more damage, on a per square mile basis, than almost any other state. Safe Rooms are a way we can prepare for the next tornado."
Homeowners who receive a disaster assistance loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to repair or rebuild a damaged or destroyed home may use some of the loan funds to construct a Safe Room. The SBA can also increase the approved disaster loan by up to 20 percent to cover the cost of adding a Safe Room or implementing other approved measures to reduce disaster damages.
To order a booklet containing Safe Room construction plans and more information on sheltering from tornadoes, call FEMA Publications at 1-800-480-2520 and ask for "Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your House," FEMA publication 320.
For more information on tornadoes and Safe Rooms visit the FEMA Web Site at: www.fema.gov/mit/saferoom