August 21, 2014
1:16 am
RAIN:  7AM to 7AM:  .00"    Month:  .56”    Year:  27.76”   |  TEMPS:  High: 95  Low: 72

State rebate program opens for those with storm shelters

    If you have installed a storm shelter or safe room at your residence, you may be eligible for a substantial rebate to help with the costs. Jim Sierzchula, director of Baxter County's Office of Emergency Management, says the state has $1.25 million available to help homeowners who have put in a shelter at their primary residence.
    The initiative is through the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Shelter Rebate and utilizes federal funds.
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    The program begins in July and funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Since funds are limited, Sierzchula says eligible homeowners must act quickly.
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    The county's OEM director says they're seeing an increase in the installation of storm shelters.
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    Reimbursements will be 50 percent of the associated costs or $1,000, whichever is less. Since it is a rebate program, the shelter has to be installed before you may apply. Sierzchula said shelters must meet FEMA specifications.
     Sierzchula says the quickest way to obtain and fill out an application is online.
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     Required documentation begins with a completed application form. Also, for above ground shelters, the homeowner must provide a certification or affidavit form completed by the builder and notarized, showing the room was built to FEMA specifications. The homeowner must also show proof of cost and payment, such as copies of invoices, receipts and proof of payment.
     Eligibility is limited to persons who have installed an above-ground safe room or in-ground shelter after January 21, 1999.
     Again, to apply, persons can go online for an application at The completed application can be taken to the local OEM office at 1 East 9th Street in the old Mountain Home Police Department building, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. or emailed to

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