FEMA is hoping to educate contractors, engineers, builders and students of Northeast Mississippi on the importance of building shelters capable of withstanding high winds up to national code, even in the absence of a statewide watchdog, said Thomas Granger, FEMA hazard mitigation specialist.
"It is all about code compliance," Granger said. "It gets dodgy in some places in Mississippi, where you don't have building codes in place for storm shelters."
At the class, contractors will learn the International Construction Council and FEMA standards as well as an overview on storm shelters, including those built inside a home, free standing above ground structures and underground shelters.
"We ultimately want fewer people to die in tornadoes and for more people to be protected," Granger said. "That is the purpose of this, to accelerate the process and make it as commonplace as possible for people to build safe rooms and shelters to standard."
Saltillo building administrator Brian Grissom said FEMA contacted him about hosting the event at Saltillo City Hall.
"Since Smithville got hit, I think they have been trying to find a location in this area, so we offered," Grissom said. "Anytime we can do something that not only helps us, but also helps the surrounding communities, we try to do what we can."
To register for the event and get more information, call FEMA at (571) 926-4885.
Contact Cain Madden at (662) 678-1582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.