LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Avondale Elementary School in West Memphis will receive more than $1 million to help build a community safe room designed to save lives during tornadoes and other severe weather events.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said the $1,044,692 award to the Marion School District will cover 75 percent of the $1,392,923 cost of the project. The funds are awarded to the state through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
The project involves construction of a freestanding safe room to protect students, faculty and staff at the elementary school. It also will provide protection for neighborhood residents during severe weather. The safe room will hold as many as 1,000 people during a weather-related emergency.
"While we can't stop tornadoes, we certainly can help keep Arkansans safe during these events," said State Coordinating Officer David Maxwell. "When it's completed, this school safe room will help protect some of our youngest residents."
"FEMA's mitigation grant program was created to help make cities, towns and neighborhoods stronger and safer," said Federal Coordinating Officer Nancy M. Casper. "School safe rooms are one of the best uses of these grants, so we're pleased to help get one built in this West Memphis community."
More information about FEMA's mitigation grant program is available at www.fema.gov/government/grant/hmgp. Arkansans can follow FEMA tweets about the state's two current disasters at www.twitter.com/femaregion6.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) is the state's homeland security and preparedness agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to Arkansas by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies. For additional information, contact ADEM at (501) 683-6700 or visit the website at www.adem.arkansas.gov.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.