Storm shelter grant money available to some in Oklahoma

It's been a quiet storm season in the state, but Oklahomans know the next round could always be just around the corner.A storm shelter can offer piece of mind but it comes at a cost."They're anywhere from $2500 up to four, five, $6,000," Valerie Silvers, the Stillwater grant coordinator said.Silvers says people who live in Stillwater can get some help getting that cost down."For the most part anybody that can live in the city limits can apply (for grant money)," Silver said.Grant money awarded to the city last year is back up for grabs.Oklahoma Emergency Management and FEMA authorized the city to take new applications so it could spend the remaining grant money, Silver said. She said Stillwater had enough for about 300 storm shelters left over, mostly because so many grant applicants disqualified themselves from help."Do not install until it's funded and they get a letter from me that says 'you have been funded,'" Silvers said.Construction on a storm shelter before approval is grounds for disqualification.People who do qualify for this grant, will get 75 percent of the cost of the storm shelter back, up to $2,000.You can find the application on the city's website. Silvers said it is best to print a copy, hand-sign it, and turn it in to city hall.Stillwater is not the only area with help to offer."We're very honored that we were able to award $10.3 million in grants to several municipalities, most of them in the storm affected areas from May 2013," Ken Garcia with the Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma said.The Red Cross money was awarded to Newcastle, Midwest City, Norman, Pottawatomie County, Cleveland County, Canadian County, the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and Citizen Potawatomi Nation."Each municipality is coming up with their own rules for eligibility, as well as how they're going to distribute that money," Garcia said.It is important to check with your municipality to see how to qualify, and what to do to prevent disqualification.
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