Safe Room Design

KFC Engineering has extensive experience in the design of storm shelters, incorporating criteria from FEMA P361 and/or ICC 500.  We have developed a consistent design methodology for safe room construction using various structural systems including reinforced & fully grouted CMU, cast-in-place concrete, precast concrete, tilt-wall concrete and insulating concrete forms.

Traditions East Shelter

Peer Review of Safe Room Design

KFC Engineering conducts structural peer reviews of storm shelters designed by others in accordance with ICC 500-2014 using structural checklists.

Best Available Refuge Area Assessments

KFC Engineering’s staff has comprehensive experience in the qualitative assessment of existing facilities for the purpose of determining Best Available Refuge Areas** based on procedures outlined in FEMA P361, FEMA P431 and FEMA BARA Checklist.

For each facility studied, KFC:

  • Performs a review of available record drawings
  • Conducts on-site visits to confirm construction
  • Observes the surrounding environment to determine potential sources of wind-borne debris
  • Completes FEMA BARA Checklist to develop qualitative score
  • Identifies areas of concern not covered by checklist
  • Provides a written assessment of recommended refuge areas
  • Provides plans defining the best areas of refuge in the facility assuming a no-run-time scenario and based on client provided occupant count

**Best Available Refuge Areas are defined in FEMA P431: Tornado Protection – Selecting Refuge Area in Buildings as follows: ” The term best available refuge areas refers to areas in an existing building that have been deemed by a qualified architect or engineer to likely offer the greatest safety for building occupants during a tornado.  It is important to note that, because these areas were not specifically designed as tornado safe rooms, their occupants may be injured or killed during a tornado.  However, people in the best available refuge areas are less likely to be injured or killed than people in other areas of a building.”