26 Sep ODS Offers Safe Room Rebate
The Oklahoma Department of Safety is offering a Tornado Safe Room Rebate. The SoonerSafe – Safe Room Rebate Program was developed in 2011 by the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management to provide a rebate for purchase and installation of safe rooms for Oklahoma homeowners.
The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) intends to offer this program on an annual basis. This depends on whether or not there is enough federal funding each year.
Eligible homeowners only have to register one time and each application will remain active as long as the program is still in place.
For the purposes of this program, the term safe room includes any above or below ground residential shelter which meets or exceeds guidelines stated in the most recent versions of FEMA Publications 320 (Taking Shelter from the Storm) and FEMA 361 (Design and Construction Criteria for Community Safe Rooms), as well as ICC 500 (Standards for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters).
For more information about safe rooms or to download a copy of these publications, which contain recommended construction plans for safe rooms, visit the FEMA website.
How the Program Works
You may register for the SoonerSafe – Safe Room Rebate Program online at www.soonersafe.ok.gov. Registering ensures you will be considered for the program, but does not guarantee that you will receive a rebate.
The program will use a random selection process to select names so that everyone who registers will have an equal chance to be selected. For that reason, the order of registration does not improve the odds of being selected.
A maximum rebate of $2,000 is available per home, not to exceed 75 percent of the actual cost of the safe room. Only one person may register per physical home address..
If your application is selected, you will need to complete the following three steps:
1.) Confirm your participation on www.soonersafe.ok.gov.
2.) Have a safe room installed on your property following the guidelines in the SoonerSafe Rules and Regulations.
3.) Submit the required documentation to OEM by the deadline associated with your selection period.
You may have a safe room installed in a new or existing home, either in an interior room on the first floor, underground on the first floor, as a detached above-ground or underground safe room and within 100 feet of the home. Wherever you install it, the safe room should be readily accessible to all occupants.
Additional eligibility rules are as follows:
- To be eligible, the safe room must be installed at primary residences and must be installed on property owned by the applicant.
- Apartment complexes, duplexes, and other multi-family residences are not eligible for this rebate, as they are considered businesses. This safe room rebate program is for single-family homes only.
- If you own two or more homes, you may only register for a safe room rebate for your primary residence.
- Community or neighborhood safe rooms are not eligible for this rebate.
- If you live in a mobile home, you must own both the mobile home itself and the land it is located on to be eligible for the rebate.
- If you live in a rented house you are not eligible for this rebate. Only single-family residential homeowners are eligible to receive the rebate for their primary residence.
- If you have already installed a safe room, are having it installed now, or are planning to have it installed at any time prior to receiving notification that you have been selected as a SoonerSafe rebate recipient, that safe room is not eligible for this rebate. Previously installed safe rooms are not eligible.
- Retrofitting or repairing an existing storm shelter to meet FEMA specifications does not qualify. However, you may be eligible for a new safe room.
- You may not build or install the safe room yourself.
- If the safe room you choose to have installed is not a pre-fabricated or manufactured design, you or your contractor may be required to submit additional documentation to verify the safe room meets all federal regulations associated with this program.
- If your home is in a floodplain and you have flood insurance, you may be eligible for the rebate. You would not be eligible for a below ground safe room, but you may be eligible for an above ground safe room. However, other agencies will have to approve your specific situation. You may be required to provide more information.
- If you live on historic property, or in a historic district you may be eligible for the rebate. However, other agencies will have to approve your specific situation. You may be required to provide more information.
- If your home was destroyed in a tornado and you plan to rebuild your home in a different location than your previous home you are eligible for this rebate, as long as you are building in Oklahoma and it is your primary residence. However, you must contact the SoonerSafe team to verify the correct address has been submitted for review.
- If your home was destroyed in Oklahoma and you are rebuilding your home out of state you are not eligible for this rebate. The safe room must be built in Oklahoma.
- You must pay the total invoice for the safe room and installation in order to receive the rebate, as well as provide copies of the cleared check or credit card statement.
- Safe room lease agreements are not eligible.
- These Rules and Regulations apply to the SoonerSafe program only. Local city or county safe room rebate programs will have their own individual guidelines and you must contact them for further information.
The cost of a safe room varies depending on a number of factors, including size and type of safe room. Construction industry experts estimate the cost to range from $2,500 to $8,000 or more.
If you receive this rebate you will not have to claim it as income on your taxes. The safe room rebate is exempt from tax liability as a federally-funded assistance program.
The Oklahoma Constitution provides that up to 100 square feet of a safe room installed after January 1, 2002 shall be exempt from taxation.
There are no State or Federal tax incentives associated with this safe room rebate program at this time.
Safe rooms save lives. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and more than 1,500 injuries. A safe room provides a shield of protection for you and your family. They have been proven to be tremendously safe.
Click here for more information and to apply for the Sooner Safe Safe Room Rebate program.
Our mission at Southern Safe Rooms is to provide quality well-built safe rooms that exceed FEMA standards and are certified to withstand an EF5 tornado. All of our storm shelters are fabricated in Tulsa, Oklahoma with the expertise of 110+ years of steel manufacturing at the most competitive prices on the market today.
Call us today at (918) – 584 – 3371