The National Weather Service tornado emergency warning for the Oklahoma City area Monday afternoon was blunt: “You could be killed if not underground or in a tornado shelter.”
And people in the city of Moore responded as best they could, taking cover in underground shelters or above-ground safe rooms when they could, huddling everywhere from closets to bathtubs to school hallways as a last resort.
What was not available was a new $2 million “safe room” program the city had hoped to start. Moore got money to help with such shelters after tornadoes in 1991 and 2004, but city officials posted a message in February advising residents their pursuit of a Federal Emergency and Management Agency grant remained “on hold” pending approval of the city’s hazard mitigation plan.
The message also noted that since Oklahoma had not had a presidential disaster declaration for several years, the city’s priority for a grant would be lower.
- Where was FEMA ‘safe room’ program? (kjrh.com)