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.