Hoisington, KS -- Examples of Safe Room units will be available for the public to examine in Hoisington, Kan., beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 4. The Safe Rooms will be located at the Hoisington Municipal Building, 109 E. First St., in Hoisington, Kansas.
Officials from the Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urge all homeowners living in tornado-prone areas to consider including a Safe Room in their home. Residents and business owners planning to repair or rebuild a structure damaged or destroyed by the severe storms that struck the City of Hoisington and Barton County April 21 are especially encouraged to incorporate a Safe Room into their repair plans. Special financing funded by Fannie Mae is available through local area contractors to homeowners for the purpose of building Safe Rooms.
Safe Rooms were developed by the Wind Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech University in cooperation with FEMA. "This room is designed to withstand sustained winds up to 250 miles per hour and to resist penetration by a 15 pound, 2 by 4 inch stud traveling at 100 miles per hour," said Federal Coordinating Officer Carlos Mitchell.
"Having a shelter, or Safe Room, built into your house can help protect your family from the dangerous forces of extreme winds," said Julie Eichem, State of Kansas Coordinating Officer. FEMA and Texas Tech have published Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your House. This booklet provides a homeowner risk assessment sheet, guidance for selecting a shelter design, detailed construction plans and cost estimates for building an in-home Safe Room. Copies of this booklet may be obtained at the display area or by calling toll free: 1-888-565-3896.
Applicants for disaster assistance are encouraged to apply by using the FEMA toll-free registration number: 1-800-462-9029. The TTY number is 1-800-462-7585 for those who are speech- or hearing-impaired. Recovery specialists are available to take calls from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., CDT, seven days a week until further notice.