FEMA Updates: Safe Room Publications
In August 2008, the Federal Emergency Managment Agency (FEMA) released the third edition of FEMA 320, Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business, and the second edition of FEMA 361, Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms, both dated August 2008 and the second edition of FEMA 361. First released in 1998 and last revised in September 2000, FEMA 320 is the benchmark publication that provides prescriptive designs to be used in the design and construction of residential and small community shelters, now classified by FEMA as safe rooms. These structures are intended to protect occupants from wind and debris associated with hurricanes and tornadoes. Originally released in July 2000, FEMA 361 provides technical guidance for the design and construction of community safe rooms intended to protect larger groups of occupants from wind and debris associated with hurricanes and tornadoes.This article is a condensed presentation of the updates in the latest versions of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) safe room publications, Specifically, this article concentrates on the design updates for safe rooms constructed out of reinforced concrete and masonry.