Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Publications Count: 31103

Select areas to restrict search in scientific publication database:
The Design of Safe Spaces in Healthcare Facilities Vulnerable to Tornado Impact in Central US
In the wake of recent disasters happening around the world such as earthquake in Italy (January, 2017); hurricanes in the United States (US) (September 2016 and September 2017); and compounding disasters in Haiti (September 2010 and September 2016); to our best knowledge, never has the world seen the need to work on preemptive rather than reactionary measures to salvage this situation than now. Tornadoes are natural hazards that mostly affect mid-western and central states in the US. Tornadoes, like all natural hazards such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and others, are very destructive and result in massive destruction to homes, cause billions of dollars in damage and claims many lives. Healthcare facilities in general are vulnerable to disasters, and therefore, the safety of patients, health workers and those who come in to seek shelter should be a priority. The focus of this study is to assess disaster management measures instituted by healthcare facilities. Thus, the sole aim of the study is to examine the vulnerabilities and the design of safe spaces in healthcare facilities in Central US. Objectives that guide the study are to primarily identify the impacts of tornadoes in hospitals and to assess the structural design or specifications of safe spaces. St. John’s Regional Medical Center, now Mercy Hospital in Joplin, is used as a case study. Preliminary results show that the lateral base shear of the proposed design to be 684.24 ton (1508.49kip) for the safe space. Findings from this work will be used to make recommendations about the design of safe spaces for health care facilities in Central US.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):


[1] Kenward, A & Raja, U. (2014). Blackout: Extreme Weather, Climate Change and Power Outages. Climate Central, 23. Retrieved from
[2] Pereira, A (2016). Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Central United States, 5 (August).
[3] E-School Today. (2016). The Impact of Tornadoes. Retrieved from
[4] Pan America Health Organization, PAHO. (2000). Principles of Disaster Mitigation Principles of Disaster Mitigation. Disaster Mitigation Series. Washington, D.C, 2000.
[5] World Health Organization Department of Communicable Disease (WHO). (2008). Hospitals Should be Safe from Disasters, 43. Retrieved from
[6] Gray, B. H., & Hebert, K. (2007). Hospitals in Hurricane Katrina: challenges facing custodial institutions in a disaster. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 18(2), 283–298.
[7] Kaji, A. H., & Lewis, R. J. (2006). Hospital Disaster Preparedness in Los Angeles County. Academic Emergency Medicine, 13(11), 1198–1203.
[8] Schultz, C. H., Koenig, K. L., & Lewis, R. J. (2003). Implications of Hospital Evacuation after the Northridge, California, Earthquake. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(14), 1349–1355.
[9] Mehta, S. (2006). Disaster and mass casualty management in a hospital: how well are we prepared? Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 52(2), 89–90. Retrieved from
[10] FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), 2015. Safe rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for community and residential safe rooms. FEMA P-361, Third Edition. Washington DC, March.
[11] FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), 2006. Design Guidance for shelters and safe rooms. FEMA P-453, Washington DC, May.
[12] FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), 2008. Taking shelter from the storm: Building a safe room for your home or small business: Includes construction plans and cost estimates. FEMA P-320, Third Edition. Washington DC, August.
[13] Levitan, M.L., Jorgensen, D.P., Kuligowski, E.D., Lombardo, J.T., & Phan, L.T. Draft Final Report. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Construction safety Technical investigation of May,2011, Tornado in Joplin, Missouri.
[14] Katz, A. (2013). The (virtually) Tornado- Proof Hospital: What Moore can learn from Joplin. Retrieved from: Accessed on :29/12/2016
[15] Reynolds, T & Spencer T, 2017. 8 die at Florida nursing home in Irma’s sweltering aftermath. Associated Press: September 13, 2017. Retrieved from: . Accessed on: 14/09/2017.
[16] Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), (2009). Historical Tornado cases for North America. Retrieved from: Accessed on 22/12/2017.
[17] Strange, S. (2014). Tornado map these twisters where you can get killed. Retrieved from:
[18] NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). 2013. Technical Investigation of the May 22, 2011 Tornado in Joplin, Missouri. March. Available at
[19] Rose, C. (2016). What is the EF- scale? Retrieved from: Accessed on: 22/12/2017.
[20] Leitz, J. (2005). Tornado statistics in the US. copyright, Joshua Leitz 2005-2016. Accessed on :29/12/2016.
[21] Wilson, J. (2013). Doctor’s quick thinking saves patients. Retrieved from Accessed on: 31/01/17.
[22] Iserson, K. V., & Moskop, J. C. (2007). Triage in Medicine, Part I: Concept, History, and Types. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 49(3), 275–281. .2006.05.019
[23] FEMA,2016- Case Study –School community safe room: Southeast, Kansas.
[24] Hector, D., and Hewitt, D. Designing for safety and beauty. Health Progress;94(6):6-11, Nov.-Dec. 2013.
[25] Beatty, M., Stark, C., Powers, B., Ball, C., Kaminsky, J., & Starchman, D. (2015), The promise, Enduring and rebuilding. The Joplin globe.
[26] ASCE. 2010. Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. ASCE/SEI Standard 7-10.
[27] Ampaw-Asiedu, L & Norton, T. R. (2017). “The Design of Safe Spaces in Healthcare Facilities Vulnerable to Tornado Impact in Central US” Unpublished.
[28] United States Geological Survey (USGS). Design Ground motion. Retrieved from: Accessed on 14/12/2017.
Vol:15 No:03 2021Vol:15 No:02 2021Vol:15 No:01 2021
Vol:14 No:12 2020Vol:14 No:11 2020Vol:14 No:10 2020Vol:14 No:09 2020Vol:14 No:08 2020Vol:14 No:07 2020Vol:14 No:06 2020Vol:14 No:05 2020Vol:14 No:04 2020Vol:14 No:03 2020Vol:14 No:02 2020Vol:14 No:01 2020
Vol:13 No:12 2019Vol:13 No:11 2019Vol:13 No:10 2019Vol:13 No:09 2019Vol:13 No:08 2019Vol:13 No:07 2019Vol:13 No:06 2019Vol:13 No:05 2019Vol:13 No:04 2019Vol:13 No:03 2019Vol:13 No:02 2019Vol:13 No:01 2019
Vol:12 No:12 2018Vol:12 No:11 2018Vol:12 No:10 2018Vol:12 No:09 2018Vol:12 No:08 2018Vol:12 No:07 2018Vol:12 No:06 2018Vol:12 No:05 2018Vol:12 No:04 2018Vol:12 No:03 2018Vol:12 No:02 2018Vol:12 No:01 2018
Vol:11 No:12 2017Vol:11 No:11 2017Vol:11 No:10 2017Vol:11 No:09 2017Vol:11 No:08 2017Vol:11 No:07 2017Vol:11 No:06 2017Vol:11 No:05 2017Vol:11 No:04 2017Vol:11 No:03 2017Vol:11 No:02 2017Vol:11 No:01 2017
Vol:10 No:12 2016Vol:10 No:11 2016Vol:10 No:10 2016Vol:10 No:09 2016Vol:10 No:08 2016Vol:10 No:07 2016Vol:10 No:06 2016Vol:10 No:05 2016Vol:10 No:04 2016Vol:10 No:03 2016Vol:10 No:02 2016Vol:10 No:01 2016
Vol:9 No:12 2015Vol:9 No:11 2015Vol:9 No:10 2015Vol:9 No:09 2015Vol:9 No:08 2015Vol:9 No:07 2015Vol:9 No:06 2015Vol:9 No:05 2015Vol:9 No:04 2015Vol:9 No:03 2015Vol:9 No:02 2015Vol:9 No:01 2015
Vol:8 No:12 2014Vol:8 No:11 2014Vol:8 No:10 2014Vol:8 No:09 2014Vol:8 No:08 2014Vol:8 No:07 2014Vol:8 No:06 2014Vol:8 No:05 2014Vol:8 No:04 2014Vol:8 No:03 2014Vol:8 No:02 2014Vol:8 No:01 2014
Vol:7 No:12 2013Vol:7 No:11 2013Vol:7 No:10 2013Vol:7 No:09 2013Vol:7 No:08 2013Vol:7 No:07 2013Vol:7 No:06 2013Vol:7 No:05 2013Vol:7 No:04 2013Vol:7 No:03 2013Vol:7 No:02 2013Vol:7 No:01 2013
Vol:6 No:12 2012Vol:6 No:11 2012Vol:6 No:10 2012Vol:6 No:09 2012Vol:6 No:08 2012Vol:6 No:07 2012Vol:6 No:06 2012Vol:6 No:05 2012Vol:6 No:04 2012Vol:6 No:03 2012Vol:6 No:02 2012Vol:6 No:01 2012
Vol:5 No:12 2011Vol:5 No:11 2011Vol:5 No:10 2011Vol:5 No:09 2011Vol:5 No:08 2011Vol:5 No:07 2011Vol:5 No:06 2011Vol:5 No:05 2011Vol:5 No:04 2011Vol:5 No:03 2011Vol:5 No:02 2011Vol:5 No:01 2011
Vol:4 No:12 2010Vol:4 No:11 2010Vol:4 No:10 2010Vol:4 No:09 2010Vol:4 No:08 2010Vol:4 No:07 2010Vol:4 No:06 2010Vol:4 No:05 2010Vol:4 No:04 2010Vol:4 No:03 2010Vol:4 No:02 2010Vol:4 No:01 2010
Vol:3 No:12 2009Vol:3 No:11 2009Vol:3 No:10 2009Vol:3 No:09 2009Vol:3 No:08 2009Vol:3 No:07 2009Vol:3 No:06 2009Vol:3 No:05 2009Vol:3 No:04 2009Vol:3 No:03 2009Vol:3 No:02 2009Vol:3 No:01 2009
Vol:2 No:12 2008Vol:2 No:11 2008Vol:2 No:10 2008Vol:2 No:09 2008Vol:2 No:08 2008Vol:2 No:07 2008Vol:2 No:06 2008Vol:2 No:05 2008Vol:2 No:04 2008Vol:2 No:03 2008Vol:2 No:02 2008Vol:2 No:01 2008
Vol:1 No:12 2007Vol:1 No:11 2007Vol:1 No:10 2007Vol:1 No:09 2007Vol:1 No:08 2007Vol:1 No:07 2007Vol:1 No:06 2007Vol:1 No:05 2007Vol:1 No:04 2007Vol:1 No:03 2007Vol:1 No:02 2007Vol:1 No:01 2007