Tornados form quickly giving people little time to prepare. Tornado prepared rooms and buildings can provide shelter. Republic's FEMA (Tornado) doors and frames are an important part of the areas of refuge equation. When structures are located in a 250 mph wind zone per ICC 500, the following structures must include an ICC 500-2020 (default) or 2014 storm shelter: 911 call stations; emergency operations centers; fire, rescue, and ambulance stations; police stations; and K-12 school buildings with 50 or more occupant capacity.


There are more than 1,000 tornadoes in the United States each year, most of which can easily destroy standard doors. Steel is the only readily available door material that passes the FEMA 361 and ICC 500 tornado test (250 mph wind speeds).  No wood door, with or without metal sheathing, has successfully passed FEMA P-361.

  • FEMA P-361 offers best practices on the design and construction of safe rooms but FEMA does not regulate construction
  • ICC 500 is the Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters
  • Tornado assembly components are approved and certified as an assembly and cannot be mixed and matched. These components include the frame, door, hinges, anchors, and latching hardware
  •  Proper installation of tornado doors is critical. It is recommended to have a pre-installation meeting with the contractor, specifier, door supplier, and installer to discuss the installation

Typical applications

Commercial buildings in tornado alley as well as residential shelters, commonly new school gymnasiums constructed as ICC 500 compliant tornado shelters for K-12 and higher education.

Frame anchors are approved to lock the frame to the the shelter walls built as new or existing CMU block walls, poured concrete, or steel.

Supported Products

  • DF Tornado doors and frames are no longer available through Republic, now processed and fulfilled through Steelcraft as Paladin PW doors and FP frames.
  • Send orders directly to and refer to Working with Steelcraft. Purchase Orders sent to Republic will be forwarded to Steelcraft order entry for processing through Steelcraft as Paladin.
  • For product information and downloads, go to Steelcraft’s Paladin PW Series. Contact your sales person or Hollow Metal Specialist for more information.