Safe Rooms

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A safe room is a hardened structure specifically designed to meet the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criteria and provide "near-absolute protection" in extreme weather events, including tornadoes and hurricanes. Near-absolute protection means that, based on our current knowledge of tornadoes and hurricanes, the occupants of a safe room built in accordance with FEMA guidance will have a very high probability of being protected from injury or death.

To be considered a FEMA safe room, the structure must be designed and constructed to the guidelines specified in FEMA P-320Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business (FEMA, third edition, 2008a) (for home and small business safe rooms) and FEMA P-361Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms (FEMA, second edition, 2008b)

Residential Safe Rooms

  • Building a Safe Room in Your Home
  • Residential Funding Opportunities and Initiatives
  • Examples and Case Studies

Public and Community Safe Rooms

  • Community Funding Opportunities and Initiatives
  • Examples and Case Studies

Know Your Risk

  • Map of the contiguous United States
  • Annual cycles of severe weather probability

Additional Websites and Resources

Visit Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) for information on grants. If you need additional information on HMA grants, contact the HMA Helpline by calling (866) 222-3580.

Questions? Click on the "Frequently Asked Questions" link to view FAQs about design and construction of safe rooms. If you need additional information about the design and construction of safe rooms, contact the Safe Room Helpline by email at or by calling (866) 927-2104.

FEMA strongly encourages homeowners and communities to build safe rooms but cannot endorse or approve specific manufacturers or producers. Disclaimer.

Last Updated: 
10/15/2014 - 15:42
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