MOORE — The American Red Cross recently awarded a grant to the Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity for $48,000 for the installation of 20 storm shelters in newly built homes in communities affected by the 2013 spring storms.
The Red Cross grant covers the purchase and installation of storm shelters meeting FEMA specifications.
Louis and Cindy Henderson are one of the recipients of the new storm shelters. They had moved into their Moore home just 19 months before the May 20, 2013, tornado. As a retired couple they anticipated this would be the last time they would purchase a home and they were settling in. When the tornado hit and leveled their house they did not own a storm shelter and rode it out in a neighbor’s underground shelter.
“You could just hear it grinding and tearing the whole house apart and we didn’t know if we were going to make it or not even underground,” said Louis Henderson. “So this new storm shelter means everything to us and I use to be the last one to go to the shelter but now I’m the first one to get in there after that experience.”
They have since rebuilt through Habitat for Humanity and due to the partnership with Red Cross, the Henderson’s now have a storm shelter in the backyard.
“This partnership between the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity affirms the goals of both agencies to help individuals and communities as a whole be more resilient in the face of future disasters,” said Central and Western Oklahoma regional CEO Janienne Bella. “This is one more way we can get people prepared and this collaboration will no doubt be a model for the rest of the country.”
The grant covers Habitat homes built for storm affected individuals and families from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2015. The two year program will assist 20 of families who were uninsured and/or underinsured during last year’s storms.