State exhausts funding for storm shelter rebate program

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - If you're thinking of installing a new storm shelter on your property, you may have to reach a little deeper in your pockets.

The sale of storm shelters continues to rise as we head deeper into severe weather season.

The active, warm start to the year means early construction, and the need for safe rooms is skyrocketing.

"We've been flooded with requests to come out and do estimates and look at people's homes, see the new type of shelters that they can get installed in existing homes. We're actually booked up right now up to May 21st. "

Keith Bullock owns a local shelter company and is making the routine weekend trip to Oklahoma City, OK to pick up more safe rooms.

"In the forefront of people's minds right now, with the shows, storm chasers, and the knowledge about the weather and the increase in intensity they're seeing."

This increase in sales has dried the funds of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management for the next several months.

That's up to $1,000 difference in the total cost of installation--and it's on a first come, first serve basis.

"Once the grant money is consumed and used, well then they stay on the list and qualify for it next year."

Bullock says that the safe room boom even has contractors finding ways to meet client demand.

"We've got three contractors that are working with us. They're putting pre-fab safe rooms in their homes and even the concrete safe rooms."

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