High School Campuses in Mississippi Construct Storm Shelters
Last week, the North Pontotoc and South Pontotoc high school campuses in Mississippi started construction of FEMA funded community storm shelters, reports NRMCA Vice President, Sustainability, Tien Peng. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the Pontotoc County School District received grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The district is paying for 10 percent of the shelters' cost and FEMA is covering the other 90 percent. The shelters will be able to withstand 225 mph winds — the equivalent of an EF5 tornado. When not in use as safe spaces during severe weather, the shelter buildings will be used by teachers and students as multi-purpose classroom space during the school day.
Each year, tornadoes, hurricanes and other extreme windstorms cause numerous fatalities and injuries, and cost millions of dollars worth of property damage throughout the United States. Policies and programs can dramatically change the landscape for the use of concrete products. The 2015 International Building Code now requires all Group E occupancies (schools) with an aggregate occupant load of 50 or more shall have a storm shelter constructed in accordance with ICC 500.
Build with Strength, a coalition led by NRMCA that promotes concrete building systems through communications, project promotion, education and advocacy, can help leverage resilient strategies to help place more concrete. To learn more about these programs, or for more information on how local energy policies can help you, contact Tien Peng at email@example.com or 206-913-8535.