January Key Message: Get a building permit when installing safe rooms in flood-prone areas

To ensure safe construction and proper installation, safe rooms built or installed within
the City of Tulsa are required to have a building permit before construction. This is
particularly true when building or installing safe rooms in flood-prone areas. Flood
hazards are an important consideration when placing an above or below ground safe
room in a new or existing home. Below-ground safe rooms must be designed to avoid
accumulating water during the heavy rains that often accompany severe windstorms.
Homeowners should contact the City of Tulsa Permit Center at (918) 596-9456 to obtain
a safe room building permit. City staff can help you ascertain what additional
requirements or restrictions there may be for your safe room if your property is located
in a floodplain.
If you already have a safe room at your home or office, you should consider participating
in the City of Tulsa’s Storm Shelter Registry. This registry provides information to
emergency responders to help them locate citizens after a natural disaster such as a

tornado. Having a registered safe room will provide emergency personnel with time-
saving information should your safe room be blocked by debris. You can register your

safe room online with your City utility account number. After registering, you can call
the City of Tulsa Customer Care Center at 311 if you live inside the city, or (918) 596-
2100 if outside of the city to request that Tulsa Fire Department personnel visit your
home or business and obtain the exact GPS coordinates of your safe room. To

participate in the registry, go to https://www.cityoftulsa.org/residents/public-
safety/storm-shelter-registration/ .

For more information from FEMA on Safe Rooms, please visit
The Disaster Resilience Network shares these monthly key messages from the City of
Tulsa Program for Public Information as part of the National Flood Insurance
Program Community Rating System. Such documented outreach assists our
community in keeping low flood insurance rates in Tulsa.

Tim Lovell