Code Improvements Adopted Based on NIST Joplin Study

The changes, approved at a recent ICC meeting, apply to the nation's most tornado-prone regions, from northern Texas to central Minnesota and from western Oklahoma to western Pennsylvania.

The International Code Council has approved building code changes based on recommendations from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's investigation of the EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Mo., on May 22, 2011, changes intended to protect schools and their related high-occupancy buildings from the most severe tornadoes.

The changes, approved at a recent ICC meeting, apply to the nation's most tornado-prone regions, from northern Texas to central Minnesota and from western Oklahoma to western Pennsylvania. According to NIST's news release, they will require enhanced protection for new school buildings and additions to buildings on existing school campuses, as well as facilities associated with schools where people regularly assemble, such as a gymnasium, theater, or community center. Storm shelters must be provided that protect all occupants from storms with wind speeds of 250 mph, representing the maximum-intensity category EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

The storm shelter requirements will be published in ICC's 2018 International Building Code and 2018 International Existing Building Code.

Based on its investigation, NIST developed 16 recommendations for improving how buildings and shelters are designed, constructed, and maintained in tornado-prone regions, along with improving the emergency communications that warn of imminent threat from tornadoes. "Solid progress is being made working with code developers, state and local officials, U.S. agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] and others toward realizing all of the proposed improvements for tornado protection and resilience in our study," said Marc Levitan, leader of the NIST team that conducted the Joplin investigation. He said current efforts include developing more detailed and more accurate tornado hazard maps for the United States; an improved Fujita scale; draft standards for better selecting buildings to serve as disaster shelters; and guidelines for determining the best available tornado refuge areas in existing buildings.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019


      Production vs. Safety 
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
      The State of Contractor Safety
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue