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Legacy FEMA P-361 Case Study

The legacy case study presented in the documents linked below provide an example of a safe room that met the guidance criteria applicable at the time of design and construction. FEMA is providing the legacy case study as an example only. Registered design professionals are encouraged to use this case study to inform their safe room design efforts, but not to rely upon its accuracy, assumptions, or calculations for any individual safe room project’s designs, decisions, and execution. The registered design professional of record for an individual safe room project and other accountable parties are responsible for ensuring the design meets FEMA P-361 criteria, FEMA grant funds requirements (when applicable), and all Federal, State, and local building codes and permitting requirements. 

Please note that FEMA does not endorse, approve, certify, or recommend any designs, contractors, individuals, firms, or products. Contractors, individuals, or firms shall not claim they or their products are “FEMA approved” or “FEMA certified.”

School Community Safe Room: Southeast Kansas

This new masonry middle school classroom wing was designed to meet or exceed the design criteria set forth in the 2008 Editions of ICC 500 and FEMA P-361. The calculations shown in this case study have been updated to reflect the recent release of FEMA P-361 (2015) and ICC 500 (2014) and their referenced standard ASCE 7-10.

Publication resources for safe rooms:

  • FEMA P-320. Fourth Edition, 2014. Taking Shelter from the Storm, Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business. [Free]
  • FEMA P-361. Third Edition, 2015. Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms. [Free]
  • ICC 500. 2014. ICC/NSSA Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters. [For purchase and download]
  • Highlights of ICC 500-2014 [Free]

Webpage links for safe room information:

Return to FEMA P-361 - Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms.

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 emailing or calling (866) 927-2104.

Last Updated: 
12/17/2018 - 15:02