Tornado Shelter Design - 1 LU/HSW 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST

Tornado shelter design can be a complicated life-safety design issue. With the 2015 International Building Code (IBC), came new requirements for storm shelters; and additional requirements in the 2018 IBC. Most schools and critical facilities located in the 250-mph wind zone map, must contain a storm shelter meeting the ICC 500 (Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters) requirements. The FEMA P-361 (Design and Construction Guidance for Community Shelters) will also be addressed in this presentation. This presentation will address some “lessons learned”, the new code requirements, and how masonry can be used to provide safe, resilient, cost effective storm shelter design solutions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding of owner, designer, and user expectations of a tornado shelter and be able to discuss the design aspects.

  • To understand the revisions of the 2015 International Building Code (and 2018) with respect to the requirements of tornado shelters design.

  • Review case studies of shelter design and construction examples, to know what to expect of a properly designed and constructed tornado shelter.

  • Learn about tornado shelter design intent of the ICC-500 and FEMA 361, and be able to incorporate successful concepts and avoid mistakes in storm shelter design.

About the Speaker

Tom Elliott

National Director for Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, IMI


Tom has worked for three decades in the construction industry in project management, as well as field supervision.

He is a long-standing member of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 5 OH. Tom also managed his own mason contracting business, and later worked in the restoration sector of the masonry industry.