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FEMA Renews Wichita County Storm Shelter Reimbursements

Many Oklahoma residents credit storm shelters with shielding them from death and devastation caused by Monday's horrific tornado.  Wichita County residents could get a break if they put in storm shelters.

Alfredo Morales is an Oklahoma resident who was at work Monday when he realized storms in Moore were too strong to wait out, so he and his coworkers decided to leave the office and take shelter in his storm shelter.

"They just said the storm was getting worse and we made an executive decision at our office to basically go to my house and get into our storm cellar," Morales says.

A decision he says probably saved his life and others.

If you live in Wichita County and don't have a storm shelter at your home, Judge Woody Gossom says now might be the perfect time to make the investment.

"We've been approved for the second 100 grants.  And while we were waiting on that, we asked for a third 100," he says.

Tuesday night, Gossom learned FEMA awarded Wichita County more grants for a funding match program, through which up to 50-percent of the cost of storm shelter or safe room installation is paid, up to $3000.

"We've had so many inquiries here after the Oklahoma events that people all of the sudden go, 'Ooh, maybe I'd better get that done.'"

Gossom says there's a waiting list to receive the funding, but he encourages Wichita County residents to go ahead and add their names to that list, because some applicants might not end up putting in shelters.

And if you are a Wichita County resident and want to sign up for the storm shelter reimbursement program, go to http://www.co.wichita.tx.us/storm_shelter.html

And Wichita Falls city officials want to remind residents that if you have a below or above ground shelter and its not registered, you should do so as soon as possible.

You can register your shelter by calling 761- 7901.
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