Lauderdale Residents Approved For Storm Shelters
Past storm damage has helped the Florence-Lauderdale Emergency Management Agency get grant money to help protect its residents.
It’s a familiar sight during storm seasons here in the valley, fallen trees and damaged homes.
“With storms in Alabama, the way they come up real fast, you can get sheltered very quickly,” says George Grabyran. “We always want residents to seek shelter during a tornado watch, because once that warning is issued, often times there’s just not enough time to get to safe place.”
And over the last several months, Florence-Lauderdale EMA Director George Grabyran and his team have been working to secure FEMA money for storm shelters.
After the storms of April 27th, FEMA made money available to several Alabama counties for just that.
Lauderdale County decided to give that money to its residents for personal storm shelters, one hundred and twenty one people applied.
“It’s something we’ve really not seen in Lauderdale County in a number of years. We had one run of this program a long time ago, and we just had a handful of people that participated,” according to Grabyran.
The first batch of applications has been approved.
The FEMA grant will pay seventy-five percent of the cost of the shelter, up to four thousand dollars.
Grabryan hopes to get additional grant money to help other citizens in the future.
”Unfortunately we are not taking any additional applications right now,” explains Grabyran. “We have had a lot of people asking about that, we may have monies awarded in the future for it, but as of right now this is the one group that we’re able to work through for Lauderdale County.”
Grabyran says that his office will be contacting the residents approved for the storm shelters in the coming weeks.
FEMA has awarded more than one-hundred and fifty thousand dollars for the initial batch of storm shelters for Lauderdale County.
That will help cover the first 41 shelters to be constructed for residences in the county.