Not all Iowans have the luxury of a basement to provide shelter during severe weather. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is promoting the building of so-called “safe rooms” within our homes, reinforced rooms built to withstand tornadoes. FEMA spokesman Scott Wells reads part of a letter from a Nebraska man who, along with his family, survived a tornado on May 22nd because of a safe room. He says if they weren’t in a safe room, someone would’ve gotten hurt. Wayne Sak is a hazard mitigation counselor for FEMA. He’s leading tours of a reinforced “safe room” at various home improvement stores around the Midwest. He discusses the value of such rooms in other tornado-prone parts of the country. He says it is a matter of personal choice for people to build a safe room. Sak said the price of a safe room can be wide ranging, depending on the amenities you want to build into it and the size. He says it is “very affordable.” FEMA has published a booklet called “Taking Shelter From The Storm” which has diagrams explaining how to build a safe room along with costs and materials needed. For more information on safe rooms, call 800-621-FEMA or visit “www.fema.gov”.
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