Elderly Couple Receives Free Storm Shelter Through Red Cross - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Elderly Couple Receives Free Storm Shelter Through Red Cross

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September is "National Preparedness Month" and more Oklahoma families are taking advantage of the Red Cross's Storm Shelter Program. September is "National Preparedness Month" and more Oklahoma families are taking advantage of the Red Cross's Storm Shelter Program.
NOBLE, Oklahoma -

September is "National Preparedness Month" and more Oklahoma families are taking advantage of the Red Cross's Storm Shelter Program.

An elderly couple impacted by the 2013 storms in Cleveland County received a storm shelter because of where they live.

Frank and Barbara Lenenbauer stood outside the Cleveland County Courthouse starting at 4:30 a.m. the day the shelter program was expanded.

They said having a storm shelter gives them peace of mind.

“I had a lot of anxiety about the tornadoes and since we got it, it's really helped a lot,” Frank Lehenbauer said.

Their property in Noble had tree and wind damage from the 2013 storms.

“We'd just pull a mattress over the top of us and pray for the best,” Frank added.

Until now, all they could do was shelter in place, which is scary for Barbara, who recently had her leg amputated due to circulation problems.

“It's really scary, you just hang on and pray a lot,” Barbara Lehenbauer said.

“You don't know if you are going to be here from one minute to the next,” Frank Lehenbauer told News 9.

They always wanted a storm shelter, but could not afford it.

They finally got one thanks to the Red Cross's storm shelter program, which focused on the 2013 storm areas.

Over the last year, the Red Cross has invested in storm shelters for families.

The big push was for Moore residents, but a $6.75 million grant is supporting the installation of storm shelters in other areas affected by the 2013 storms.

Each grant is up to $2,500 to install a storm shelter.

Clients have to pay the difference if they want more expensive shelters.

The Lehenbauers applied for the shelter in March and got it installed over the summer.

“It was like a gift from heaven to have it, really, because I mean that's a life-saving thing for us,” Barbara Lehenbauer explained.

Barbara Lehenbauer now has a prosthetic leg and she said she is going to start practicing going down the storm shelter stairs to be ready for next severe storm season.

The Red Cross is especially proud of the shelter numbers in Moore.

Storm shelters in Moore have tripled since the 2013 tornadoes.

A third of all homes there now have them.

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