Delaware State Park Tornado Shelter

Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (EMA), promotes the importance of sheltering during a storm. Thus, we have worked closely with our partners to provide a tornado shelter/safe room at the Delaware State Park campground. The project consists of a dome-style shelter for use during severe weather (tornado and thunderstorm warnings). While the primary purpose of the structure is to offer protection from severe weather, it can also be utilized by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) for conservation education, presentations by naturalists, and other types of educational programs.

The need for this project was recognized years ago as campers are vulnerable to severe weather. This need was recently re-iterated when a tornado hit the state park in August of 2016, and a severe storm struck in July of 2017 requiring EMS to transport two injured campers. This is considered a “mitigation” project as it reduces identified risks.
The shelter is the first of its kind at an Ohio State Park. Delaware County EMA also owns two outdoor warning sirens that are located within the State Park. Installation of the sirens was a requirement for funding of the project.

This was a collaborative effort on the parts of Delaware County EMA, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, FEMA, Ohio EMA and the Delaware County Board of Commissioners. The total cost of the project was just over $1 million.

The project, including planning, design, and construction, has taken approximately 7 years.

We are proud to have the tornado shelter available at the state park, and we thank our partners for their cooperation, collaboration and communication during this lengthy process. The tornado shelter/safe room dedication ceremony and open house was held on May 9, 2019.

Delaware State Park Tornado Shelter/Safe Room

CLICK HERE to view the project fact sheet.


The video shows the process as it “unfolds”.