Red Cross adds $6.5 million to fund private storm shelters

Red Cross adds $6.5 million to fund private storm shelters

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Just days away from the anniversary of last year's tornado outbreak on May 19 and 20, the Red Cross announces millions more in grants for private storm shelters. 

In the affected areas you can see signs of major progress.

"We customized the closets and stuff to accommodate our needs," said homeowner Robin Brown, giving a tour of her newly-built home.

Brown is one of hundreds rebuilding after her home was reduced to mere splinters last May.

"It looked like the tornado had picked it up, swirled it around and dumped it back down," she recalled.

During construction she had one, non-negotiable requirement: a storm shelter.

"Where you live it's tornado alley and I gotta protect my family," Brown said simply.

This week the Red Cross announced it's more than doubling the pot set aside to help people add shelters to their homes. Now there is a total of $10.3 million available.

Around Moore people with the city think the money is helping redevelop the town.

"To give people a comfort level to come back  to rebuild or to move to our community, these are very important," said City Manager Stephen Eddy.

Brown's storm shelter is one of 4,000 across the state that the Red Cross is helping to build. And 1,500 of those are right located directly in the City of Moore.

The money will go to 12 municipalities including:
  • City of Newcastle
  • City of Midwest City
  • City of Moore
  • City of Norman
  • Pottawatomie County
  • Cleveland County
  • Canadian County
  • Caddo Nation of Oklahoma
  • Citizen Pottawatomie nation
  • 3 pending municipalities

Residents can apply through their city to get the money for their own shelter. It's a program Robin calls a gift.

"Your insurance only gives you so much for everything," she said.

She says now she can fit 12 to 17 people safety underground in case of a future storm. 
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