PREBLE COUNTY — The Preble County EMA along with the State of Ohio EMA is once again excepting applications for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program. Homeowners throughout Ohio now have the opportunity to apply to receive reimbursement for the purchase and construction/installation of a tornado safe room inside or outside their homes.
This is the eighth year for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program. To date, more than $1.5 million in rebates have been awarded to homeowners with Preble County receiving funding for three.
“The entire state of Ohio is vulnerable to tornadoes,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Safe rooms are costly, but they can save lives – which is why we want to help homeowners with the expense.”
Preble County Emergency Management Director David Anderson noted, “On May 19, 2019, Preble County had two EF1 tornados that resulted in some damage to the Eaton and West Alexandria area. Then on June 15, an EF0 tornado touchdown in western Preble County close to the state line resulting in minor damage. Thankfully no one was injured. Tornados will happen in Preble County, are you ready?”
Safe rooms offer protection to a tornado’s strong winds and resulting airborne debris and provides near-absolute protection for occupants. Safe rooms can be constructed/installed in one of several places in the home, including 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 the home.
Residents selected are eligible for a rebate up to 75 percent of the cost to install or construct a safe room — to a maximum of $4,875. To apply for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program, homeowners have until 5 p.m. April 6, 2020 to register on the Ohio EMA website: https://ema.ohio.gov/ema_saferoom/saferoom-concept.aspx.
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.