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-320, Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business and FEMA P-361, Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms. For more information on residential safe room doors, please download the Residential Tornado Safe Room Doors Fact Sheet.
- Building a Safe Room in Your Home
- Residential Funding Opportunities and Initiatives
- Examples and Case Studies
- Residential safe room doors
- Community Funding Opportunities and Initiatives
- Examples and Case Studies
- Maps of the contiguous United States showing general locations of tornadoes and high winds
Additional Websites and Resources
- Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grants (PDM) and Safe Rooms Fact Sheet
- Texas Tech University Wind Engineering Research Center
- NIST Disaster Studies
- American Red Cross
- Storm Prediction Center
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- America’s PrepareAthon - Tornadoes
- Tornadoes: Being Prepared
- The Tornado Project
- Before, During and After a Tornado
- National Weather Service
- High Wind Safe Rooms
- Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)
- MAT Report – Spring 2011 Tornadoes: April 25-28 and May 22 (FEMA P-908)
- 2013 Tornadoes – Building Science Activities & Resources
- 2011 Tornado Recovery Advisories in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia and Missouri
- Formal Observation Report on the 2013 Tornado in Moore, Oklahoma (FEMA P-1020)
- International Code Council (ICC)
- Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.