FEMA: What Is It?
FEMA, also known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is a government agency that assists communities in times of floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural or man-made disasters. Every county across the nation has or should have an Emergency Management Agency that works within their county to assist in disasters. They help obtain funding for whenever their area is affected by adversities. Local EMA offices work with the federal office to ensure they get the help they require to rebuild and help the community and its members.
When an area is hit by a tornado, and the disaster is declared a disaster on a federal level, you can go to the FEMA website to apply for assistance. You will need to include a description of your disaster-caused damage and losses.
FEMA is very helpful when it comes to residential and community safe rooms. In fact, while FEMA does not ever endorse tornado safe rooms or any other products, they do have a set of standard requirements, that when followed, can protect and save lives. If a storm shelter company claims to be FEMA certified, endorsed, or approved, beware. A storm shelter company should be FEMA Compliant, which means they follow FEMA guidelines for shelter safety.
So, whether you are a homeowner interested in a residential tornado safe room, or someone who is interested in obtaining information for a community tornado safe room, the best place to start is through your local EMA office. And if you need assistance with funding questions for things like tornado safe rooms, emergency supplies, etc., your emergency management agency officer will be able to lead you in the right direction. Go meet your local officers at the EMA office where you live, and add their information to your family safety plan.