The Huntsville-Madison County Emergency Management Agency made the grant applications available online today.
The federal grants will reimburse a resident 75 percent of the cost to build a shelter, but the total cost of the shelter is capped at $4,000. The resident is responsible for the other 25 percent, or up to $1,000.
A resident will not be reimbursed if he starts construction of a shelter or safe room before he is approved for a grant by the Federal Emgergency Management Agency.
Madison County residents interested in applying for a grant can do so online at www.madisoncountyema.com. Click on the "apply here" under the safe room grant applications heading.
The grants will be issued in order that the applications are received. Applicants will be notified when the grant money becomes available.
The EMA said in a news release that the grant money may not be available for months, but the application is a required first step.
The grants are for individuals wanting to build a storm shelter or safe room. They are not for community storm shelters.
The grants are available for home owners in an area declared a disaster area by the president.
If approved for a grant, the homeowner must:
• Complete a safe room work sheet and submit it the local building inspection department.
• Obtain a building permit from the local building inspection department.
• Present certification by an Alabama licensed engineer that the safe room plans meet FEMA standards.
• Present certification by an Alabama licensed contractor that the safe room is built to the certified plans.
• Satisfy all requirements of the local building inspection department.