In the aftermath of Joplin’s 2011 tornado and twisters this year in Oklahoma, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says one way to stay safe is in a hardened  “safe room.”  Rooms built according to FEMA guidelines provide near-absolute protection in extreme weather events.

Officials at Missouri Southern will soon receive federal funding to design a safe room to help keep students and employees safe during times of severe weather or disaster.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded MSSU $64,500 for Phase 1 funding to design a safe room on the MSSU campus. The grant requires a 25 percent University match.  The facility will be designed in accordance with FEMA guidelines to withstand winds of 250 mph and accommodate approximately 2,000 occupants.  

The safe room will be designed as a multi-purpose facility that could be used by campus organizations. Officials at Missouri Southern are currently evaluating possible sites within the Residence Life complex for construction of the facility.

Funding for the actual construction of the safe room is contingent upon FEMA approval of the design.

If approved, Missouri Southern will receive additional grant funding of approximately $1.2 million for construction of the facility.  The University has nine months to complete the design phase.  If construction funds are awarded, an additional 21 months will be allowed for the construction.

For more information, call Grant Project Manager/Administrator Jeff Gibson, MSSU Director of Budget and Operations, at (417) 625-9727 or email