Delaware State Park Tornado Shelter

Delaware Ohio State Park Tornado Shelter.

The tornado shelter at Delaware State Park in Ohio will shelter up to 856 campers and park visitors during severe weather. The dome is built to FEMA P-361 standards for near-absolute protection from disasters.

@delcoema / Submitted Media

The Delaware State Park Tornado Shelter is a FEMA P-361 rated Monolithic Dome safe room. It provides near-absolute protection during tornadoes and other severe weather events at the park. When warning sirens sound, a wireless signal unlocks the door. Up to 856 campers and park-goers can shelter inside.

The Monolithic Dome is a 5,410 square foot (502.6 m²) half-oblate ellipsoid—83-feet (25.3 m) diameter by 28-feet (8.5 m) tall—with tornado resistant doors and no windows. The interior is a simple, large room with restrooms and drinking fountains on one side. There is heating and air-conditioning plus a huge fan to keep people comfortable inside. Sound baffles hang from the dome to reduce noise in the concrete-only room.

The total project cost—including two outdoor warning sirens placed within the park—was $1.1 million paid for with grants from the federal government ($726K), the State of Ohio ($241K), and Delaware County ($100K). It is the only tornado safe room in Ohio’s 75 state parks.

The 1,686 acre (6.8 km²) Delaware State Park is 40 minutes north of Columbus, Ohio. It has a 1,300-acre (5.25 km²) reservoir, five hiking trails, 800-foot (244 m) public beach, an 18-hole disc golf course, and many campsites.