Resource Record Details
Safe Rooms Save Lives: State of Oklahoma Safe Room Initiative
On May 3, 1999, more than 70 tornadoes tore through Kansas and Oklahoma in the worst tornado outbreak in a generation. As a result of these tornadoes, in Oklahoma alone over 44 persons died and almost 800 were injured. How could Oklahomans feel safe in future tornadoes? To help answer this question, the State of Oklahoma launched an initiative to promote and support the construction of storm shelters in homes. These shelters, built to FEMA guidelines, are called “safe rooms.” The initiative was the first large-scale effort to build thousands of safe rooms through a rebate program, and its success is a direct result of the involvement and strong support of the Governor of Oklahoma and the participation of partners in industry, business, government, and the private sector. Thousands of safe rooms were built and, although funding for the rebate program has ended, the initiative continues to result in the construction of safe rooms throughout the state.
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