CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is now taking applications to help homeowners build a tornado safe room.
"The entire state of Ohio is vulnerable to tornadoes,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “Safe rooms are costly, but they can save lives, which is why we want to help homeowners with the expense.”
There are several types of safe rooms, that in the time of severe weather, people can get into to avoid injury or even death.
There are free standing shed-like structures, or spaces dug into basements, slab garages or yards.
The EMA program will pay for 75% of the safe room with the homeowner paying the other 25%, with a maximum rebate of $4,875.
“There are standards and inspections throughout the process,” Jay Carey said with the EMA. “Selected applicants will be expected to attend a two-hour meeting for all the details. It is a reimbursement program, i.e. we will cut a check to the homeowner after all process is complete and all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed.”
The safe room must be rated to withstand an EF5 tornado conditions which can produce 250 mph winds, and be installed by a contractor.
This is the eighth year for the program which has given out $1.5 million in rebates to create more than 200 safe rooms throughout the state.
Only 100 participants will be chosen out of the more than 300 applicants the EMA receives every year, and it will be done by computer drawing.
Those interested should apply on the EMA’s Safe Room Rebate Program website.
Below are examples of approved safe rooms: