Safe Room Rebate Program is a hit

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

COOKE COUNTY, TX -- People in Cooke county now have even more incentive to protect themselves from severe weather. The county has been awarded a grant that will pay residents back, for building safe rooms.

More than a hundred showed up to a community meeting tonight to learn more about the program.

A resident who buys a safe room can get up to $3,000 back. It's a big incentive, but there are a limited number of spots in the program.

Joe Stout said he's always wanted a storm shelter, but has never gotten around to building one.

"Money and things of that nature. Things come up. This kind of forces the issue. Since the grants there, you want to utilize that money," Cooke county resident, Joe Stout said.

Resident Allyson Russell said the rebate is a huge incentive to invest in her family's safety.

"We have a lot of family over a lot and so that way if something was to happen we would be covered. And then, you know what, we live off the highway. So therefore, you never know when life happens and if you could help a total stranger out that'd be even more of a blessing," Russell said.

Cooke County Emergency Management coordinator Ray Fletcher said he learned last month that the county had been awarded a $465,000 grant. The money will be used to reimburse residents who build storm shelters, up to $3,000.

"It really got the conversation about preparedness out there. It got people talking about storm shelters," Fletcher said.

In fact, so many are now talking about getting storm shelters, there may not be enough money to go around. The $465,000 grant will help about 150 families. Fletcher says just over 200 have signed up.

He says for those who are approved, it could take up to five months after their shelter is installed, before their check comes in. But said any incentive to make his county safe is worth the wait.

"We're here to plan, prepare and respond to disasters. And part of that planning and preparing process is making sure the public is able to take care of themselves. And this go a long way to do that. So, the more people that are in these shelters and the more we have out there in the community, the less people we've got to take to the hospital," Fletcher said.

Fletcher said the county can always apply again for another grant in order to accommodate more residents, but he said they're going to wait to see how this round goes first.

Grayson and Fannin counties have applied for the grant, but they are still waiting on the approval from Texas and FEMA.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Also an okie on Jul 25, 2012 at 09:13 PM
    To okie. Thanks for making us look stupid. Break out the calculator next time before posting a comment.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 25, 2012 at 07:11 PM
    Storm cellar is better, why in the world would anyone want a safe room, and the one showed in the video, I hope that fan does not run off electricity!
  • by Typical Republican on Jul 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM
    No republicans should take this welfare handout! But I bet they will!
    • reply
      by tax the baby on Jul 25, 2012 at 06:05 PM in reply to Typical Republican
      No one with a conscience should take this welfare handout. But I bet they will!
  • by j Location: ardmore on Jul 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM
    So does this apply to "safe rooms" only? That's not very bright. Yeah it's better than being protected by sheetrock, but if you're gonna spend 3 grand on something to protect you against a tornado, put it under ground!!
  • by tax the baby on Jul 25, 2012 at 08:27 AM
    This is just more disgusting use of future taxpayers' money to buy your vote or silence. Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax the baby on my knee. Every penny you get to build your shelter will be paid by either future taxation plus interest or financial collapse. It's immoral. Tell them to stick their grants.
  • by okie Location: okla on Jul 25, 2012 at 07:45 AM
    just how much do these people charge for these shelters to start with? yall say you got a 465,000.00 grant and it will only hel out about 150 people. dang someone is getting rich out in texas. get one in okla for around 3000.00 someone is ripping yall a new one.
    • reply
      by j on Jul 25, 2012 at 10:33 AM in reply to okie
      $465,000/150 = $3100 per shelter.
      • reply
        by dorothy on Jul 25, 2012 at 10:09 PM in reply to j
        so does this mean they are only going to have to pay 100.00 each but its going to take months for them to get the 3000.00 back? why so long. if they only have 150 people to repay why drag it out so dang long? more wasted government money. jsut let them pay the 100.00 and be done with it.
  • by Texas NDN Location: Denison on Jul 25, 2012 at 07:12 AM
    If people can afford to buy/build a safe room, they sure don't need a mrebate. Why not put that money out for folks that CAN'T afford to build one ?
    • reply
      by yep on Jul 25, 2012 at 10:10 PM in reply to Texas NDN
      i agree with you. why doesnt the state just build everyone a shelter and be done with it.
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