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Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
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Storm shelter with faulty door wasn't inspected by government officials

By Lisa Burnett

This article was published May 5, 2014 at 4:11 p.m.

A storm shelter in Faulkner County with a door failure had not been inspected by emergency management officials prior to the April 27 storms, and therefore did not meet federal safety requirements, officials said Monday.

Brandon Morris, public information officer for the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, said the storm shelter was located in Mayflower and one person died as a result of the faulty door.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management said in a statement Monday that the shelter did not meet the requirements established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or meet standard criteria for tornado shelters.

“Although an individual, above ground safe room or in-ground shelter can be designed in a number of ways, it must meet requirements established in FEMA Publication 320 and/or meet the National Performance Criteria for Tornado Shelters dated May 28, 1999 to be able to be eligible for reimbursement under ADEM’s Safe Shelter Program,” the release states.

In order for a storm shelter to be approved, the shelter must be constructed of a waterproof material, properly ventilated and the door must meet the National Performance Criteria for Tornado Shelters. It also must meet city and/or county codes, the release states.

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