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Tornado Tamer: A Tornado-Resistant Door

The Tornado Tamer – It’s been tested by Texas Tech Wind Science University, and it meets FEMA 320 Guidelines for a unit that can resist a wind force of up to 250 mph.

For several years Monolithic has been searching for an affordable door whose ability to resist tornado-force winds matched that of a Monolithic Dome. “We did not have a problem finding doors with the integrity we wanted,” said David South, president of Monolithic. “We found them, but they were in the $5000 to $7000 range. Put a few of those on a building and they really skyrocket the price of a project. We needed a door with two advantages: tornado-resistant strength and affordability. About a year ago, we found both in the Tornado Tamer.”

Ohio opens first tornado shelter at Delaware State Park

Delaware State Park Tornado Shelter

Ohio is probably not the first State people think of when discussing tornadoes. Oklahoma or Kansas are more likely to provoke visions of violent skies and Dorothy running for the storm cellar. Yet, 36 tornadoes already struck Ohio this year — double the total tornadoes in 2018. “We are not dealing with a theoretical hazard,” said Sean Miller at the open house of the new Delaware State Park Tornado Shelter. “This is a very realistic hazard … and campers are vulnerable.”

New cafeteria dome provides shelter in tornado area

Cafeteria dome entrance

A new Monolithic Dome now stands on the school grounds where a tornado came tearing through 23 years ago. Catoosa, Oklahoma, a suburb of Tulsa, was the site of a F4 storm in 1993 that killed seven people and injured many more. Thanks to a new Monolithic Dome, people at the school can now feel safe from another such storm.

Tornadoes spark calls for rebuilding with safer structures

Sadly, it’s official. This year will go down as the deadliest tornado year since record keeping began, according to The National Weather Service. More than 500 people have died in tornadoes in 2011, with nearly half of the fatalities occurring in Alabama. Missouri ranks second with 139 deaths from the Joplin tornado alone. 

Architecture Writer Touts the Benefits of Domes’ Tornado Resistance

Even though we’re in the midst of hurricane season, the memories of the 2011 tornadoes are still fresh in the minds of most people. This year will go down as the deadliest tornado year since The National Weather Service began keeping records, with more than 500 fatalities. That’s one of the reasons why Jon Thompson wrote a feature story on the protection that Monolithic Domes can offer on Architecture Suite 101

Tornado Dome Covers Pawnee, Oklahoma

Monolithic Dome tornado safe room in Pawnee, Oklahoma.

New Monolithic Dome safe room in Pawnee, Oklahoma is large enough for the whole town. Local TV station, KFOR, profiled the dome during a school tornado drill. As the students quietly walk to the dome, Superintendent Ned Williams explains the advantages and why they built the safe dome.

Could a home be tornado proof?

In an online article featured on the KFVS12 website, Michael Cobb is a physics professor at Southeast Missouri State University states that a Monolithic Dome might be the answer to surviving severe tornadoes. Cobb said FEMA has certified the dome structure as nearly indestructible. He said it can withstand winds up to 350 miles an hour, and hold off 2×4 boards traveling at 100 miles per hour.

Tornado-Proof Monolithic Domes featured in New York Times

The Monolithic Dome was recently featured in The New York Times Dot Earth Blog by Andrew Revkin. After Sunday’s spate of deadly tornadoes, Revkin says it is time to "think outside the box—and inside the dome. Revkin points out that Monolithic Dome Schools meet FEMA standards for community tornado shelters and can provide safe haven for residents as well as students and teachers. “A growing number of school districts in tornado or hurricane hot spots, many with grants from FEMA have chosen this option,” he says. Enlightening, interesting and on the mark. The Monolithic Dome is hard to overlook with all of it’s outstanding benefits, safety being a major one. It’s time to think round.

Surviving Hurricanes and Tornadoes

Dome of a Home — This fabulous Monolithic Dome home on Pensacola Beach, Florida has successfully survived more than one hurricane. In 2004, the owners and an NBC News crew had permission to stay in this dome during Hurricane Dennis.

Deaths, injuries and property damage caused by tornadoes and hurricanes can be prevented. That’s the primary and most important conclusion FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) reaches in its manual, Design and Construction Guidance for Community Shelters. But this manual doesn’t stop there. It not only says that structures strong enough to survive tornadoes and hurricanes can be built, it actually tells people how to do that.

FEMA Funds Dome Tornado Shelters in Two Ohio Mobile Home Parks

Tornado Shelter/Community Center at Wilkins Park in Licking County, Ohio.  Safe for 125 occupants.  Funded ¼ by Mobile Home Park and ¾ by FEMA.  First of its kind.  Built 2010.

Residents of mobile home parks are among the most vulnerable to tornadoes. According to the National Severe Storms Laboratory, about half of tornado fatalities occur in mobile homes even though only 7 percent of the population lives in these types of manufactured homes.

Monolithic Dome Home Survives Missouri Tornado

Open Interior — Romain’s home features an open floor plan and large door and window openings for plenty of light.

Romain Morgan was no stranger to tornadoes. She said, “I had been in a devastating tornado in 1957 in Kansas City, where our house exploded, and we were thrown around. I ended up under a refrigerator, holding one of my babies. So that’s why I decided on a Monolithic Dome and why my daughter and her family come here when there’s a tornado watch.”

February 2009 – FEMA Funds Monolithic Dome Tornado Shelter

Niangua Tornado Shelter

A small Missouri school district has received funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to build a Monolithic Dome shelter that will double as a preschool classroom. The dome is the first building of its kind approved for FEMA funding.

Avalon Dome Provides Safe Haven During Tornadoes

Avalon ISD Multipurpose Center — A safe haven for Avalon citizens during recent tornados rumbled through the community.

When the Avalon Independent School District in Texas needed a new multipurpose building, Superintendent David Del Bosque had safety at top of his mind. Since the nearby Italy school district had just completed a Monolithic Dome multipurpose center of its own, the decision was easy. “I personally was concerned about safety for students: the stability of the building in case of a storm,” Del Bosque said, adding that when he saw Italy’s dome, he knew that it was “the safest structure anywhere.”

Monolithic Domes: A Tornado Solution That Is A Secret!

Aerial image shows the swath the April 2011 tornado took, just glancing the Faith Chapel Campus.

Monolithic has been teaching, training, promoting and building these domes for 35 years. Some 4000 Monolithic Domes are in use, working and well proven in 52 countries and 49 American states. But they are still a secret!

October 2008 – Geronimo School Builds Fifth Tornado-Proof Building

Construction crews building a new middle school and high school in Geronimo, Oklahoma will be turning heads on Monday, October 6th (weather permitting) when they use giant fans to inflate a huge balloon, known as an Airform to create the shape of the school’s fifth and final dome building.

Letter From: David Del Bosque, Superintendent Avalon ISD

Damage sustained by Avalon ISD’s Monolithic Dome multipurpose/disaster center was limited to a few glass blocks which have been repaired. But a house across the road from the dome lost its roof and the school’s 60-year-old gymnasium was severely damaged. The school hopes to replace that old gym with another Monolithic Dome.

May’s tornadoes, specifically the one that rumbled through Avalon, served as a reminder of how precious and dear our children, school and community is to all of us. While we feared and marveled at nature’s fury, we counted our blessings that no one individual was harmed.

Monolithic Domes: Surviving Bullets, Projectiles, Tornadoes

The rifle used in this test was a Ruger 10/22, using a very standard 40 grain projectile. Damage from this rifle was minimal.

As they say on TV, “Don’t try this at home.” Don’t shoot holes in your home with a 30-06 caliber rifle. To test the bullet-resisting strength of a Monolithic Dome, Gary Clark, our VP of Sales, fired at our Monolithic Dome storage buildings.

Mississippi High School to Rebuild Gym with FEMA Funds

Every spring, tragic stories abound of the devastating effects of tornadoes. One such example is the EF-5 tornado that ripped through Smithville, Mississippi in April 2011. In addition to destroying numerous town structures, this particular tornado passed right over the high school and flattened the gym.

School district protects students by building dome

Project rendering

Located in the heart of what is dubbed “Tornado Alley” sits Oklahoma. Since a recent tornado slammed through schools, districts are working to make schools safer for their students. One district is doing that with a Monolithic Dome.

School Board News Features Niangua Dome

According to Niangua Superintendent Andy Adams, it’s not unusual for one tornado per week to rip through southwest Missouri during tornado season. That’s one of the reasons why the school district opted to build a Monolithic Dome preschool building.

Georgia Dome Home Makes News

This beautiful Monolithic Dome home in Cloudland, Georgia is a multi-level, prolate ellipsoid. Its Airform measured 60′×37′×27′.

Dade County, Georgia was one of many areas of the southern United States hit by deadly tornadoes this past spring. An EF-3 tornado struck the area on April 27, followed by two smaller EF-1 twisters. Although several homes were destroyed, one resident weathered the storms with no worries at all.

Domers respond to Moore, Oklahoma

Just a day after the devastating tornado in Moore, Monolithic began receiving phone calls and emails about that tragedy. We greatly appreciate all comments.

Podcast: Strengthening Churches

Monolithic Podcast

Spacious and spectacular Monolithic Dome churches provide near absolute protection from fire, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes.

Safe room going up in Alabama

Saferoom

A new Monolithic Dome safe room is under construction in Birmingham, Alabama. It’s part of a broader initiative to provide community storm shelters following the devastating Tuscaloosa-Birmingham EF4 tornado in 2011. It is the fourth dome built in the Pratt City area, which was hardest hit by the monster tornado.

KMOV of St. Louis news article features Valley R-6 School District’s domes

A recent news article at KMOV-St. Louis features a video interview with Valley R-6 officials in Caledonia, Missouri. Quoting, ‘At first glance the five domes that make up Valley R-6 Elementary School in Caledonia, Missouri look odd, but school officials say they are the safest buildings in the face of a tornado. “They are tornado proof – hurricane proof – fire proof and so our kids are very safe,“ says Valley superintendent Brad Crocker.’

Great news story with timelapse of Catoosa Safe Room inflation

Catoosa cafeteria shortly after initial inflation. A conventional entry way is planned for the front.

NewsOn6.com has a great story about the a Monolithic Dome inflation in Catoosa, Oklahoma earlier this month. The 136-foot diameter facility will be a cafeteria for the school and a safe shelter during tornadoes for the students and community. There’s an excellent time-lapse of the inflation in the story.

A Minion ready to protect against storms

An Ecoshell tornado shelter painted as a Minion from Despicable Me.

“For as long as I can remember, my dad has wanted a Monolithic Dome home,” said Alise Burke in an email about her dad’s new tornado shelter. It’s actually an Ecoshell — a concrete-only dome thinshell. They painted it to look like a Minion from the movie Despicable Me. Burke lives in the country next door to her dad, Ed Kelton, near Farmersville, Texas. Last December “a tornado tore through our rural community and many of our neighbors and my students lost their homes and one lost their child.”

More about the Monolithic Dome School

Emmett High School — Located in Idaho, Emmett High School was the first Monolithic Dome school build.  This five-dome facility has 900 students who use two 180-foot diameter domes that house classrooms and a gymnasium. The three smaller domes function as woodworking, metal and auto shops.

Monolithic Domes are proven survivors of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and bullets. They meet or exceed all regional building codes and requirements. They also meet or exceed FEMA’s specifications for a structure to provide near-absolute protection against tornadoes and hurricanes.

Monolithic Dome: An Ideal, Automated Warehouse

Cut-away — Monolithic Dome cut-away showing the storage of pallets utilizing an automated storage and retrieval system furnished by PAS. www.pas-us.com

“The higher you go, the more susceptible a building is to hurricane or tornado damage,” said David South, president of Monolithic, at a discussion of the latest in warehouses, distribution centers and storage facilities. “That’s why the Monolithic Dome makes an ideal automated warehouse,” he added.

Rebuild Joplin Strong Workshop to Feature Monolithic Domes

The tornado-resistance of Monolithic Dome structures will be one of the featured topics at the Rebuild Joplin Strong workshop scheduled for July 8 and 9 on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. David B. South, president of the Monolithic Dome Institute, is slated to speak at the event, which is designed to bring survivors, planners, and builders together with experts in storm-resistant, green construction practices. 

Why Not Rebuild with Monolithic Domes?

Permies.com is a website that hosts discussion forums on permaculture, green building and sustainable practices, among other topics. Recently, a forum participant asked a simple question: Why do people in tornado/hurricane zones still build the same destroyable houses?

Letter to all School Superintendents and Legislators

Monolithic Dome Schools – THE answer for schools in “tornado alley.”
See: http://www.monolithic.com/topics/schools

School children were killed in the tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma in the spring of 2013. That need not happen at your school – or any school. It is possible to have A TORNADO-SAFE and AFFORDABLE SCHOOL.

June 2011- “Rebuild Joplin Strong” Workshop to Feature Monolithic Domes

The tornado-resistance of Monolithic Dome structures will be one of the featured topics at the Rebuild Joplin Strong workshop scheduled for July 8 and 9 on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. David B. South, president of the Monolithic Dome Institute, is slated to speak at the event, which is designed to bring survivors, planners, and builders together with experts in storm-resistant, green construction practices.  

January 2012 – FEMA Funds Second Monolithic Dome for Missouri School District

Archie R-V School District recently hosted its first basketball tournament in its new gymnasium, a steel-reinforced, concrete Monolithic Dome that will double as a community disaster shelter. building was funded in part by a $1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The federal agency helped pay for the building because Monolithic Domes meet the agency’s standards for near-absolute protection from tornadoes. The structure is designed to withstand an F5 tornado, and can accommodate a large number of people in case of severe weather.

February 2008 – Conference on Dome Homes and Buildings

Global warming and the severe weather associated with it have heightened interest in energy conservation as well as tornado and hurricane preparedness. It also has generated increased interest in a futuristic type of building that may offer one of the best solutions to both these concerns: the Monolithic Dome.

FEMA approves safe shelter grant for Dodge City Community College

Front entrance of the Dodge City Community College Activity Center

FEMA approved a grant for the Monolithic Dome safe shelter at Dodge City Community College. The dome will be their new student activities center and also the campus tornado safe room. Plans include a full basketball / volleyball court, locker rooms, classrooms, fitness center, student lounge, and more.

District Administration Magazine Spotlights Woodsboro

When the Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to help fund construction of a Monolithic Dome in Niangua, Missouri, an area that had been hit by tornadoes in the past, school officials across the nation took notice. When FEMA announced in December that it was also going to help fund a Monolithic Dome in South Texas, the media started taking notice too.

The Ideal Data Center: A Monolithic Dome

Shelters  — Shown here are two Tornado/Hurricane Shelters.  These are for storing bank buildings and emergency response equipment.  They could as well be housing data centers.

Companies need secure buildings – especially if they host computer systems and store data. Monolithic Domes make secure, solid, permanent facilities that can withstand tornadoes, earthquakes, wild temperature fluctuations and even rifle fire.