Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program Offered by Ohio EMA

Homeowners Interested in Constructing a Tornado Shelter May Be Eligible

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA) announced today that applications are being accepted for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program starting Jan.16. The deadline to apply is Feb. 20, 2023 at 5 p.m.

The Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program provides a rebate to homeowners of up to 75% of the cost to install or construct a safe room – up to a maximum of $4,875 to homeowners selected for the program. The rebate program will use a computerized random selection process to select names. Those selected applicants will be notified after the random drawing of their position on the priority list.

A safe room is an extreme-wind shelter or space that provides protection to people during a tornado or high wind event. Safe rooms can be constructed / installed in one of several places in the home, including in the basement, beneath a concrete slab-on-grade foundation or garage floor, or in an interior room on the first floor. A safe room may also be buried in the yard or be a stand-alone structure near the home.

“Ohio is vulnerable to tornadoes, like the one we had in Dayton in 2019,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “A tornado can produce winds exceeding 200 mph and is capable of destroying most structures. A safe room is built to withstand these winds and airborne debris, and I urge Ohioans to learn more about this program and apply.”

This is the ninth year for the popular program. To date, more than $1.7 million in rebates have been awarded to homeowners for the construction of more than 290 safe rooms across the state.

“We are very proud of this program,” said Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick. “The protection a safe room can offer during a tornado or storm with high winds is not to be understated. Our goal is the safety of Ohioans.”

For more information on the program’s rules and regulations, and to apply, visit the  Ohio EMA Safe Room Rebate Program webpage. Homeowners with questions should contact Dan Clevidence, Ohio EMA Mitigation Specialist at 614-799-3533.