Ohio EMA accepting applications for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program


EATON — The Preble County EMA — in conjunction with the State of Ohio EMA — is once again accepting applications for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program.

This program provides a rebate for the construction or purchase and installation of safe rooms for Ohio homeowners.

A safe room is an extreme-wind shelter or space that provides protection to people during a tornado or hurricane. It can be constructed/installed in one of several places in the home: in the basement, beneath a concrete slab-on-grade foundation or garage floor, or in an interior room on the first floor. A safe room may also be buried in the yard or be a stand-alone structure near your house.

“Preble County as well as the whole State of Ohio is at risk of EF5 tornadoes,” said David Anderson, Preble County EMA Director. “EF5 tornadoes produce winds exceeding 200 mph capable of destroying most structures. A safe room is built to withstand these winds and airborne debris. A safe room provides near-absolute protection for its occupants.”

Residents selected for program are eligible for a rebate up to 75 percent of the cost to install or construct a safe room – up to a maximum of $4,875. To apply for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program, homeowners have until 5 p.m. April 1, 2019 to register on the Ohio EMA website: https://ema.ohio.gov/ema_saferoom/saferoom-concept.aspx.

The Ohio Safe Room Program will use a computerized random selection process to create a list of select names. Chosen homeowners will be notified of their position on the list by e-mail on or after April 5.

Funding for the rebate program is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Grant Program at a 75 percent cost share up to a maximum of $4,675. Ohio homeowners would be responsible for 25 percent of the construction costs and anything over the maximum rebate.

Safe rooms constructed and/or installed must meet FEMA requirements in accordance with FEMA publications 320 and/or 361. Safe rooms cannot be constructed/installed prior to the rebate drawing and notification from Ohio EMA to proceed with construction.

For additional information on safe rooms or to view and download the FEMA publications, visit the FEMA website: https://www.fema.gov/residential-safe-rooms or contact David Anderson at 937-456-1243.