ABSTRACT

FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: A Safe Place to Call Home   [open pdf - 36KB]

"The residents of the Bay View Heights community in Dunn Wisconsin now have one less thing to worry about if a tornado strikes, thanks to a safe room constructed in their community in 2009. The safe room is designed to withstand wind speeds up to 250 mph and can temporarily hold over 400 people. Built with 12-inch- thick walls, the safe room offers a place of protection during a tornado, for residents of Dane County who would otherwise be left to fend for themselves. Before the safe room was constructed, residents were forced to try to flee the area and find shelter in neighboring towns or to brave it out in their manufactured homes. The planning for the safe room did not happen overnight; it took years of work, patience and motivation. Cathy Hasslinger, Town of Dunn Clerk Treasurer, was an advocate for building the safe room long before its existence, 'The Town of Dunn identified this as a need, and the county identified this as a need, and we spent an awfully long time; over a decade working on all the possible solutions.' The safe room project planning started over 15 years ago, when a number of tornados hit the Dane County area and came within a half mile of the Bay View homes twice. It was then that others began to understand the importance of this project."

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