5 storm shelters to be built

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 31, 2017

After nearly three years of waiting, Covington County EMA finally received a little more than $29,000 to allow five locals to build five individual storm shelters.

EMA Director Susan Harris said she also hopes to get another hazard mitigation grant to fund 10 more shelters.

Harris said she submitted both grants at the same time in 2014, but hasn’t heard back from the one that would fund 10 shelters.

The purpose of the hazard mitigation grant program is to help the community implement hazard mitigation measures following a major disaster declaration.

According to FEMA, hazard mitigation is any action taken to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from natural hazards.

“A lot of stuff has changed in the federal government,” she said. “And I changed the grant (several) times.”

Harris said even with the wait, it’s great to get those five shelters because they most likely wouldn’t have been in the county without the funding.

“Hopefully the next 10 will be approved soon,” she said. “We get the hazard mitigation money during times of natural disaster like when the December floods came through. We can use that money for things such as storm shelters and sirens.”

Harris said those who receive funding must supply a matching 25 percent.