EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University received Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to include storm shelters in a new Spartan Child Development Center in 2000.
This structure, a one-story wood frame structure of residential character built on a concrete slab, was built to provide care and shelter to over 170 children and staff. Each of the eight classrooms was built with a vestibule between the main corridor and the classroom, thereby assuring close proximity to the shelters at all times. They were reinforced with concrete to provide shelter from the threat of tornadoes and high winds in excess of 250 miles per hour, allowing 20 to 25 children and adults to be protected in each room.
The 15,000-square foot storm room space contains children’s lockers with a bench in front of each locker for the child to sit and remove boots or shoes. In addition, storm kits containing battery-powered lights, radios, quiet activities and snacks were placed in each room.
The safe room construction within the building was estimated at a 75 percent Federal share of $123,750, approximately $20,625 for each room and 7.5 percent of the total building cost.
Established in 1971, the Spartan Child Development Center is described on its Web site as a facility "dedicated to meeting the needs of children ages two weeks to seven years in an environment that nurtures and guides their individual growth and development."
With the addition of the safe room, the facility can also say it is dedicated to the safety of their children during a sever tornado event.
Hazard mitigation planning is an important aspect of a successful mitigation program. States and communities use the hazard mitigation planning process to set short and long-range mitigation goals and objectives. Hazard mitigation planning is a collaborative process whereby hazards affecting the community are identified, vulnerability to the hazards are assessed, and consensus reached on how to minimize or eliminate the effects of these hazards. In recognition of the importance of planning, States with an approved enhanced State Mitigation Plan in effect at the time of disaster declaration may receive additional HMGP funding.