Shelter Rebate Program closed until further notice

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) Shelter Rebate Program has closed until further funding is made available.  Approved applications that were received or postmarked between July 14, 2014 and July 15, 2014 will be processed and funded according to the date of installation, with oldest installations taking precedence. Applications that were received during the open period, but not funded this cycle, will be retained at ADEM and will be given priority if future funding becomes available. Applications received or postmarked after July 15, 2014, will be returned to their respective County Office of Emergency Management. 

The Arkansas Safe Room/In-Ground shelter program has been in place since 1999. The program's goal is to save lives by providing incentives to individual homeowners to build safe rooms in their homes, or install in-ground storm shelters on their property. The program is open to all who own their home at the time of application and who installed an above-ground safe room or in-ground shelter after January 21, 1999. The property must be the primary residence at the time of application. Completed and approved applications will be funded at 50% of the associated costs or $1,000, whichever is less.

In order to qualify for funds, shelters and safe rooms must meet the requirements in FEMA Publication 320 and/or meet the National Performance Criteria for Tornado Shelters dated May 28, 1999. The program requires that the shelter be constructed of a waterproof material and be properly ventilated. The door must meet the National Performance Criteria for Tornado Shelters. In addition, the shelter must meet city and/or county codes if applicable. Only shelters that are purchased from the manufacturer or new construction by a contractor are eligible. Previously owned or used shelters are not eligible.

These are the documents that are needed for the rebate:

  1. Completed application form. The applicant/homeowner will complete and sign Part I, and the Local EM Coordinator will complete and sign Part II.
  2. If it is an above ground shelter or safe room, the certification/affidavit form must be completed by your builder and notarized, stating that the safe room was built to the specifications of FEMA Publication 320. (This step is not necessary for in-ground shelters.)
  3. Proof of cost and payment – Copies of invoices and/or receipts, along with proof of payment; i.e., canceled checks, credit card receipt, cash receipts.
  4. Pictures showing the inside connections on the door and the hinges. The door needs to have 3 hinges and 3 slide bolts or 3 dead bolts.
  5. Picture of the ventilation.
  6. For underground shelters, pictures of the sides and back.

  7. Below are Safe Room/Shelter Program information sheets and applications available to download and print.

Disclaimer: Neither ADEM nor the verification official (LEMC/representative) guarantees the safety of the shelter, material or installation quality, only that installation has been completed and meets the requirements for reimbursement through the ADEM Safe Room/Shelter Program.