This tornado struck about one mile west of Hillsdale Lake in September 2015.

TOPEKA — Kansas homeowners may be eligible for a rebate for the purchase and installation of a residential safe room.

Under the new Sunflower Safe Residential Safe Room Program, Kansans may earn a rebate up to $3,500 per home or 75 percent of the safe room cost, whichever is less, according to a news release.

The state of Kansas, through the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, initiated the program. Applications are currently being taken for the program. The deadline for Kansas homeowners to submit an application is June 19.

“We have been working diligently to get this program up and running, and are incredibly excited to now be able to offer this program to the residents of Kansas,” said Jeanne Bunting, state hazard mitigation officer.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said safe rooms can provide a high degree of protection, based on current knowledge of tornadoes, according to the release.

Kansas is offering this rebate program through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, contingent upon funding, and must comply with all federal grant regulations, according to the release.

To be eligible:

  • The safe room must be installed at a primary residence.
  • The residence cannot be an apartment complex, duplex, or other multifamily residence.
  • Mobile homes are eligible if you own the home and the land it is located on.
  • Previously installed safe rooms or safe rooms in the process of being built are not eligible.
  • Retrofitting or repairing an existing storm shelter to meet FEMA specifications does not qualify.
  • Homes in the floodplain with flood insurance are eligible for an above-ground safe room.
  • The safe room must be installed in Kansas.
  • You may not build or install the safe room yourself.

Additional information on program eligibility is available in the program handbook. Eligible applicants are randomly selected as funding becomes available and eligibility does not guarantee funding, according to the release.

The program handbook, FAQs and additional information are available at https://kansastag.gov/KDEM.asp?PageID=4651.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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