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Red Cross Announces $2 Million Grant to Oklahoma City Storm Shelter Program

Oklahoma City- August 25th, 2014 --- The American Red Cross announced today a grant of $2.075 million to the City of Oklahoma City for its shelter rebate program. According to the city, the grant will provide a $2,500 rebate to families which will cover the installation of 830 shelters.

This newly announced rebate program is a part of the up to $10.3 million in grants awarded for storm shelter programs for communities affected by the May 2013 tornadoes and storms. The grants are expected to support installation of as many as 4,000 shelters.

“The Red Cross is honored to be able to provide this grant to Oklahoma City and help families be better prepared for emergencies,” said Janienne Bella, CEO of the Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma. “This grant will help families move forward with their recovery and help build stronger and more resilient communities.”

In January 2014, the Red Cross provided a grant of $3.75 million to the City of Moore for a homeowner shelter installation program bringing up to 1,500 storm shelters to homes throughout that community. The Red Cross also provided a $48,000 grant to Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity for the purchase and installation of 20 storm shelters in new homes built by Habitat for storm-affected people. Other Oklahoma municipalities, counties, and tribes, receiving grants including: Newcastle, Midwest City, Norman, Pottawatomie County (program administered by the City of Shawnee), Cleveland County, Canadian county, the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

The specific shelter programs are fully administered by the community receiving the grant. To qualify for Red Cross funding in communities in the program, shelters must meet or exceed FEMA standards, ensuring shelter efficiency and safety.
The powerful tornadoes and storms that struck central Oklahoma in May 2013 devastated homes, destroyed two elementary schools in the city of Moore and inflicted heartbreaking losses on families and communities throughout the region. The storms caused billions of dollars of damage across 18 counties in the state.

In order to rebuild and bring relief to these counties, The Red Cross has spent, or made commitments to spend, $49.3 million for Oklahoma emergency relief and recovery programs, nearly 94 percent of the $52.4 million donated to the Red Cross for Oklahoma. The remaining donations will go to support recovery and resilience efforts in the affected Oklahoma communities.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. To learn more go online to www.redcross.org/okc .

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