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MEMA swamped with safe-room grant applications

PEARL — In less than a week, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) reports it has received more than 100 applications for its “A Safe Place to Go Program.” Due to the heavy response, MEMA encourages residents to apply now.

The deadline to apply is Aug.7.

Residents who live in the areas that were affected by the April 24 and May 1 storms may apply for a safe room grant. The affected counties include Alcorn, Attala, Benton, Choctaw, Holmes, Lafayette, Monroe, Oktibbeha, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Warren and Yazoo. Priority to participate will be given to homeowners whose homes sustained documented damage. The second priority is to offer the grants to those applicants within the declared counties that did not sustain damage.

A safe room can be installed in ground, above ground or inside a home. Research proves that safe rooms can withstand winds and debris at 250 miles per hour.

Since 2001, more than 6,200 Mississippians have been able to install a safe room thanks to the “A Safe Place to Go Program.”

Through the program, the state can reimburse up to 75 percent of the total eligible costs not to exceed $4,000 for single-family safe rooms. In order to receive reimbursement, participants must receive grant approval prior to installing the safe room. The grant program is made available through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds that are administered by MEMA.

To qualify for reimbursements, the safe room must be constructed according to the FEMA’s design plans and construction criteria. Details are available at www.fema.gov. To apply for the program please visit www.msema.org and click on the appropriate link.

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