Top Red Bar
Home > Departments > Urban Planning and Land Use

Urban Planning and Land Use

Every year, tornadoes, hurricanes and other extreme windstorms injure and kill people, and cause millions of dollars worth of property damage. Building a safe room, or shelter, inside your home or small business can help provide “near-absolute protection” for you, your family, or employees from injury or death caused by the dangerous forces of extreme winds. A safe room designed and constructed to prescriptive designs found in FEMA publication 320, Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your Home or Small Business, Edition 3, July 2008, will meet or exceed the International Code Council (ICC) residential and small community shelter design criteria. 

Most current publications are updated and available with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at

Chapter 27, Section 340

Storm protection areas means any new residential use, for multifamily residential development or single-family residential development or which a preliminary plan/plat application is approved by the planning commission, shall contain an area of storm protection. Such area may be a room or space, such as a basement, a structure complying with Federal Emergency Management Agency Publication 320 ("Taking Shelter From the Storm") or Publication 361 ("Design and Construction Guidance for Community Shelters"), or subsequent updates thereto shall comply with this requirement. For residential uses designed specifically for occupancy by those age 55 and over, the basement, safe room, or community shelter must be within the structure where the particular dwelling unit is located or within 15 feet of the structure in question and accessed under roof.  

Reference Material:

ICC 500: 2008 Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters  - this book is available for in-house reference with the Building Inspections Department

Published jointly by the International Code Council (ICC) and the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA), this standard provides minimum design and construction requirements for storm shelters that provide a safe refuge from storms that produce high winds, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The magnitude of wind speeds associated with these events require building occupants and residents to evacuate the area or seek protection in a shelter designed for resistance to extraordinary loads and flying debris. This standard provides design requirements for the main wind resisting structural system and components and cladding of these shelters, and provides basic occupant life safety and health requirements for these shelters including means of egress, lighting, sanitation, ventilation, fire safety, and minimum required floor space for occupants. This is the 2nd printing. 

Line Divider Gray

UG Logo gif  
Planning Hours Rob Richardson Phone Numbers
City Hall 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Program Supervisor P: (913) 573-5750
701 N 7th Street Monday - Friday Email F: (913) 573-5796
Suite 423  
Kansas City, KS      

Background Piece Background Piece