May 10 2004


U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL) today announced that the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded a grant of $966,000 to assist in building 276 safe rooms that will serve as shelters for citizens in 23 Alabama counties.

The primary counties selected to receive Safe Room funds are Barbour, Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Cleburne, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Henry, Houston, Jefferson, Lamar, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Winston. The grants will be awarded to county emergency management agencies in each county.

The federal funds are part of FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant program, which provides grants to States and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration. The purpose of the program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.

Sen. Shelby said, “Severe storms and tornadoes have caused significant damage to Alabama in recent years. I am pleased that FEMA has awarded these funds to 23 Alabama counties so we can better protect our citizens in the event of future disasters.”

The $966,000 of federal funds account for 75% of the overall costs in Alabama’s “A Safe Place to Go” project. The remaining 25% match will be provided by individual homeowners who are approved to receive a safe room. For counties that choose group shelter projects, the remaining 25% would be provided by local governments.