Building a tornado safe room? EMA offers rebates

Staff Report

A safe room is an extreme-wind shelter or space that provides protection to people during a tornado — and if you build one, you could get a rebate from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

“The entire state of Ohio is at risk of an EF5 tornado, which produces 250 mile per hour winds capable of destroying most structures,” said Steve Ferryman, Ohio EMA mitigation branch chief. “A safe room is built to withstand these winds and resulting airborne debris and provides near absolute protection for occupants.”

The Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program is accepting applications. It provides a rebate for the purchase and construction/installation of tornado safe rooms for Ohio homeowners selected for the program.

Residents selected for the program are eligible for a rebate up to 75 percent of the cost to install or construct a safe room, up to a maximum of $4,875.

Apply by 5 p.m. on March 10. Register at

The Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program will use a computerized random selection process to select applicants. A priority list of applicants will be created from the selected applicants.

Chosen homeowners will be notified by email of their position on the priority list on or after March 13.

Staff Report