Phil Campbell Families Reimbursed By FEMA For Personal Storm Shelters

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PHIL CAMPBELL, Ala. (WHNT) – After deadly tornadoes ripped through Franklin County last April, dozens of families signed up to get a personal storm shelter installed with help from a FEMA grant.

Now, nearly a year and a half since those storms, WHNT News 19 spoke with a Phil Campbell woman who finally has her shelter in place and has been reimbursed.

“This just made it easier, especially in the middle of the night,” said Lynn Landers.  “Most people around here are not going to go anywhere, of course they do now, but they wouldn’t have then.”

When the April 27th, 2011 tornado rolled through Phil Campbell, all three of Landers’ sons took cover underneath the front porch.  It was the boys’ only option at the time, but thinking back, Landers realizes it wasn’t the safest place to be, prompting Landers to apply for a personal storm shelter.

“Thinking about the trees that we lost, if it fell in their direction, they coulda been trapped in there or worse,” said Landers.

Landers applied for the shelter through the City of Phil Campbell and in a matter of months, she got reimbursed by a FEMA grant.

“I heard horror stories that it took two years you know, months and months on end to get your money back if you even got it back,” said Landers.  “When we got it back as quick as we did it was nice.”

With FEMA’s financial assistance, the family paid about $1,400 out of pocket for the shelter.

Dozens of other Franklin County families signed up for a shelter through the county Emergency Management Agency.  With such high demand, many people had to be put on a waiting list.

Now, some of those families are also starting to get reimbursed by FEMA.

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