FEMA Storm Shelters



"We're safer when we're prepared."

FEMA Safe Room Activation Procedure During School Hours:

During normal school hours (7:30 AM -3:30 PM) when a tornado watch is issued for Barry County, the site coordinator will notify the superintendent of the Purdy School District that the county is under a tornado watch. The designated safe room area will be cleared if necessary and readied for occupancy should a warning be issued.

Surrounding residents should use weather radios or tune into local radio or TV stations to apprise themselves when severe weather is expected in the area.

During normal school hours (7:30 AM -3:30 PM) when a tornado warning is issued (tornado sirens activated) by the Barry County’s Emergency Management Director, the students will be evacuated from their classrooms and proceed to the tornado safe room along the prescribed routes .

Residents surrounding the Safe Room will be expected to proceed to the Safe Room to seek shelter.

The weather will continue to be monitored by the Field Manager and the Safe Room will remain open until the severe weather has abated and the National Weather Service has canceled the warnings and watches or they have expired.

FEMA Safe Room Activation Procedure During Non-School Hours:

During non-school hours (before 7:30 AM and after 3:30 PM) when a tornado watch is issued the designated safe room area will be cleared if necessary and readied for occupancy by the public.

During non-school hours (before 7:30 AM and after 3:30 PM) when a tornado warning is issued (tornado sirens activated) by the Barry County Emergency Management Director, the Safe Room will be opened for surrounding residents within the TPZ (tornado protection zone) to seek shelter in the Safe Room.

The weather will continue to be monitored by the on-call Field Manager and the Safe Room will remain open until the severe weather has abated and the National Weather Service has cancelled the warnings and watches or they have expired.

Evacuees with Special Needs:


  • Evacuees with Special Needs must complete a Tornado Safe Room Special Needs Form

  • The form can be accessed online here

  • Hard copies of the form are available at the Purdy R-II Schools Central Office (east entrance) during regular school hours (7:30 AM-3:30 PM).

  • Evacuees requiring aid animals will be allowed to bring the aid animal in the Tornado Safe Room. The aid animal shall be on a leash and kept under the owner’s control at all times.

  • To enter the Safe Room proper official identification must be provided to show that the animal is certified as an aid animal.

  • Needs for the animal, such as water, food and cleaning supplies, are to be provided by the owner.

  • The owner is responsible for the actions of the aid animal.

  • Companion animals and other house pets or animals are NOT allowed in the Safe Room area due to the space the pets will require, which will reduce the amount of space for humans.

Community Safe Room Facts:


  • The Safe Room is located on the Purdy R-II Schools campus, at 201 S. Gabby Gibbons Drive; Purdy, MO 65734

  • The facility is owned by the Purdy R-II School District.

  • The Safe Room’s first function is to provide protection for its students and staff from tornadoes aand dangerous high wind events during school hours.

  • The Tornado Safe Room will also be available for residents in the community that do not have basements or other safe rooms that live within what is refered to as the “Tornado Protection Zone” (Please see map).

  • Due to estimated time necessary to reach the Safe Room after a warning has been given and the maximum capacity of 938 persons, including the student body, staff and surrounding residents, the Tornado Safe Room cannot provide shelter for those beyond the protection zone.
tornado protection zone

Tornado Warning: 

A tornado warning is a product issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) to local authorities and the general public indicating that a tornado is either imminent or has been reported. A warning indicates the need to take action immediately to protect life and property.

Tornado Watch: 

A product issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) to local authorities and the general public indicating that the conditions for the formation of a tornado are favorable. A watch is a recommendation for planning, preparation, and increased awareness (i.e., to be alert for changing weather, listen for further information, and think about what to do if the danger materializes). 

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