Storm shelter grants are available

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) encourages Arkansas residents to take part in the state Safe Room/Storm Shelter Grant Program.

By participating in this program, eligible individuals could receive a rebate of 50% or $1,000, whichever is less, on the total cost of a safe room for their home. The goal of this program is to reduce injuries and deaths to the citizens of Arkansas due to severe weather by providing incentives to individual homeowners to build safe shelters for their families.

Safe rooms and under ground shelters are reinforced rooms built into a new or existing above ground structure or built as a separate in-ground structure.

Last year ADEM received 825 applications for the Safe Room Grant Program. Since the program began in 1999, over 8,000 applications have been received and $7.8 million in grant funding has been allocated.

"Recent storms have greatly impacted Arkansas and surrounding states," said Richard Griffin, division leader, Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. "We have too often seen loss of life, destruction of homes and property, and devastated citizens. While there is little we can do to protect a home or structure from strong winds and tornadoes, there are steps that can be taken to protect human life."

For eligibility requirements and application information contact the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management at 501-730-9750 or visit www.adem.state.ar.us.

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