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FEMA grants available to build storm shelters

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Oct. 23, 2003
Lauderdale County residents can apply for grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to build storm shelters.
According to Clarence Butler, director of the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency, $1.1 million is available for residents, businesses, government agencies and non-profit corporations within a 40-county area.
Meridian, Lauderdale County and other state residents were hit with severe weather and flash floods in April. FEMA has provided millions of dollars in aid for businesses, residents and local governments that received damage.
Butler said FEMA will provide 75 percent of the cost of a project approved through the grant application. The applicant will have to pay the other 25 percent.
Butler said Wednesday that about 20 people have picked up applications at his office.
According the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, construction projects must meet certain FEMA specifications to qualify.
Grant amounts are limited to $3,500 for a residential shelter and $5,000 for a community shelter.
A "safe room" is a reinforced room built inside a structure that can provide protection for residents in the path of severe storms and tornadoes.
Unlike a storm shelter, which is installed underground, people who live in flood zones are limited to putting in a safe room.

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