Storm Shelters

Emergency Management LogoStorm Shelters

When tornados or severe thunderstorm warnings are issued, time is of the essence. These storms can produce winds over 100mph.  Winds of this speed will pick up all types of debris, turning it into dangerous projectiles.  These projectiles are capable of penetrating and injuring anyone and anything in their path.  However, taking shelter from the winds has proven time and time again to save lives.  

Sheltering In-Place

Unless you are in a mobile home, vehicle, or portable building, sheltering in place is usually the best plan of action.  The best place to shelter is in the basement or below ground.  Typically, the main threat when below ground is from a damaged building falling in.  Unfortunately, very few houses in Duncan have basements.  There are ways to safely seek shelter above ground.  The main goal is to prevent wind driven projectiles from penetrating your walls to where you are sheltering.  Therefore, it is best to choose a location with as many walls between you and the outside world as possible. Choosing a small room on the lowest level is best.  Remember an interior room will provide you with additional walls of protection.  You will also want to try and get under something sturdy if possible and cover yourself with coats, blankets, or pillows.  Again, you are trying to protect yourself from flying debris and falling walls.  Make sure wherever your shelter location is that you do not have any large heavy items on a shelf above your head.  Information on improving your home to better withstand storms as well as building a storm safe room can be found from FEMA at Safe Rooms | and Texas Tech University Wind Engineering Research Center at Storm Shelter Research | National Wind Institute | TTU . 

Community Shelters

The City of Duncan does not have any community tornado shelters.  This is due to sheltering in place is less of a risk rather than getting out in a storm to drive to a shelter.  Furthermore, the City does not have adequate room in their buildings to open it up to the public.  The average tornado warning is generally 10 – 15 minutes which leaves very little time for someone to receive the warning, decide to leave their home, grab their belongings and drive to a shelter.  Overall sheltering in a small interior room in their home is less of a risk than seeking shelter outside of the home or getting caught in the storm in your car.  

Storm Shelter Registration

The City of Duncan Storm shelter registration is a program initiated by Duncan Emergency Management.  The purpose of the storm shelter registry is to provide a database of storm shelter locations in Duncan to assist emergency agencies in providing aid to victims of severe weather.  The registry will be a valuable tool for emergency agencies in locating and assisting residents that may be trapped in their storm shelter by storm debris.  

The registry consists of a list of storm shelters and valuable information for each shelter such as contact information, shelter address, where it is located on the property and next of kin outside of the home.  

How to participate

The City of Duncan encourages anyone with a safe room or storm shelter to register by calling Duncan Emergency Management at 580-251-7712 or email Emergency Management


Your storm shelter information will not be shared or distributed for any reason other than to aid the City of Duncan emergency responders.

Click Here for Online Storm Shelter Registration Form (PDF)