tornado, tornadoes, weather, safe room, tornado safe rooms
Photo by Atlas Safe Rooms
Kansas and Missouri are investing in safe rooms to guard against tornadoes and other dangerous weather events.

The destruction left from last year’s tornado season has spurred officials in Kansas and Missouri to invest in safe rooms which would shelter their local residents from dangerous weather events.

According to the Homeland Security News Wire, the Garrison Community Center in Kansas City is set to build a safe room this summer, partly funded by FEMA grants. The safe room is capable of housing 1,300 people and it will withstand powerful tornadoes, said Bob Lawler, project manager for the Kansas City Parks & Recreation Department.

Meanwhile, Emily Dunavent, American Tornado Shelter Association VP and director of development for Atlas Safe Rooms, told HSNW that her company has seen increased interest in safe rooms from a variety of cities and businesses.

As HSNW reports, officials in Crocker, Missouri last week opened up a new school cafeteria which also functions as a safe room. It is capable of withstanding tornado winds of up to 250 mph and can be hit by a 67 mph projectile vertically and 100 mph horizontally.

“If you read the sign outside, it is hundreds of miles per hour wind this building could take from a direct hit by a tornado… if you look at the steel beams, the concrete, it is unreal,” Crocker R-II School Board President Kris York said. “In Joplin, 116 people lost their lives because they had no place to go.”

According to a Kansas City Star article cited by the HSNW, schools remain a popular choice for safe rooms, but FEMA funding has resulted in safe rooms being built in a number of other public buildings, such as a juvenile detention center and Public Works buildings.

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