Help is on the way for residents of Moore in need of a storm shelter. The City rolled out its storm shelter rebate program this week, which can give up to $2,500 to residents building safe rooms.
After the May 20 tornado, many people in Moore wanted to put in storm shelters. Now, the city has a program that could help, especially after the city lost 20 people a tornado last May.
"Engineered safe rooms are the only place that really provide anywhere near absolute protection from our severe winds that we have here in Oklahoma," said Gayland Kitch, Director of Moore Emergency Management, who is overseeing the ShelterMoore program.
Since safe rooms are such a necessity, the City of Moore is offering 1,500 homeowners rebates to build a storm shelter. This is thanks to the Red Cross for donating a grant worth more than $3 million. Only homeowners living within Moore city limits can apply for the ShelterMoore rebate.
"The homeowner has to install the shelter, then have it inspected and then do some paperwork with us, and then once that is finished, we will issue them a check for the cost of their safe room up to a maximum amount of $2,500," Kitch said
But not every Moore resident is eligible, including those living in:
- Rental homes or properties
- Apartments or duplexes
- Secondary residences of a homeowner
- Business or commercial properties
- Those whom already have a storm shelter, whose home wasn't destroyed on May 20
Moore Homeowner Nicholas Corrada says he excited about the rebate program and plans to build a shelter soon.
"I think that's a fantastic idea, obviously anybody that's buying a shelter would be interested in that rebate," Corrada said.
Corrada put in application for a building permit on Wednesday. He says he has been waiting on getting a shelter installed for two months, and has a builder set to install one next week.
"I think it's a great deal, one for public safety, it enhances everybody's ability to be able to pocket a little money, and then protect their family at the same time," Corrada said.
Although Corrada says he is going to apply, Kitch says he and any other Moore residents having safe rooms built before their application is approved won't be eligible to receive the rebate.
"This goes for folks having shelters put in now, last week or following weeks," Kitch said.
"They can't get the rebate if they have their shelter constructed and installed before they have an approved application with the city, so you take that gamble on not being approved at all and having to wait to have your shelter installed."
Moore residents can only sign up online at www.soonersafe.ok.gov from now until Feb. 28. Kitch says applicant should get an answer from the city by April 1.