‘I’ve lost my neighbors, I’ve lost my friends,’ Tornado victims apply for storm shelter rebates

Posted on: 4:27 pm, January 28, 2014, by , updated on: 06:48pm, January 28, 2014

MOORE, Okla. – The May tornadoes blew away the security many people say they had in their homes.

For Daphne Thomas and her 4-year-old daughter, Morgan, a storm shelter can go a long way toward getting that feeling back.

“This is my house, this is my home,” Thomas said. “I want to come home and put my head on my pillow in my own bedroom, and know that I’m going to be okay. Spring is coming, we can’t skip it.”

With storm season fast approaching, Thomas is one of many tornado victims applying for a shelter rebate program for Moore residents.

Victims whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged, like Thomas’, have top priority to get a $2,500 rebate from the American Red Cross to use for shelters.

All other residents within Moore city limits are a second priority.

Deidre Ebrey, director of Moore’s marketing and economic development, said, “The best thing we can do is be prepared. And we know that storm shelters do offer a great deal of security.”

Organizers say applicants need to head to the city’s website and answer a few questions to apply.

The $3.75 million donated by the Red Cross should provide enough shelters for 1,500 people.

If more people apply, the rest of the names will be assigned a number and will be randomly selected by a computer.

Click here for much more details on the program.

Now it’s just a waiting game for Thomas, who is hoping to have a new storm shelter in time for Morgan’s birthday in April.

“I’ve lost my neighbors, I’ve lost my friends, I’ve lost a lot,” she said. “And I just want it back, with security. So, we’re grateful that the program is in place, you know, we truly are, whether we get it or not.”

If you’ve already installed a storm shelter, you live in Moore and your house was damaged or destroyed by the tornado, you can still qualify for the rebate.