Kasson Public Library doubles as a safe shelter

The library's emergency lights and system were put to the test on Monday.

Posted: Mar 5, 2019 6:01 PM

KASSON, Minn. - The Kasson Public Library was built with two purposes: to function both as a library and a safe shelter. The library moved into their new home in August of 2016. Monday was the first time the library's emergency functions were put to the test when part of the town, the library included, lost power. The safety lights came on and worked properly.

"It was a very successful day as far as that goes, especially in extreme cold as it was yesterday," explains the library's director Art Tiff.

Luckily the power outage only lasted an hour, but the library is prepared at all times to shelter people from an emergency such as extreme cold, blizzards, severe weather storms, and tornados. The building is made of concrete, steel rebar, and an insullator. There are only a few windows and they're unshatterable FEMA grade. Because of it's architecture, the Kasson Public Library retains heat longer than other buildings in the city. It's also very sturdy.

"A 2 by 4 projectile traveling at 250 miles per hour will bounce off of the outside of this building. It cannot penetrate this building," adds Tiff.

Kasson first responders have a key to let people into the library even when it's closed. The library has an emergency supply closet that has some water and hygiene items. Library staff are working with Dodge County Emergency Management and the Red Cross to continue to build the supply.

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