The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 21, 2013

Applications for storm shelters available; first round is for mobile home parks

Applications are being taken by the city of Joplin for storm shelters that are available from the former temporary housing sites set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the May 2011 tornado.

In a related discussion, the board of trustees of the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund agreed Wednesday to hear proposals for possibly providing some money to nonprofit organizations to put in shelters and provide shelters for individual homes.

FEMA and the State Emergency Management Agency gave Joplin the 32 shelters that were used at temporary housing sites that have now been closed.

The city will use 16 of the shelters, stationing them on public property, such as the Joplin Athletic Complex, Schifferdecker Golf Course, the Joplin Regional Airport, the Public Works Center and the Joplin Senior Center.

A first round of applications for the remaining 16 shelters is open to mobile home park operators in Joplin and Duquesne. They have until Sept. 17 to apply.

Leslie Haase, the city finance director, had recommended to the City Council that vulnerable locations or organizations be offered the FEMA shelters.

The City Council on Aug. 5 authorized the plan to provide the shelters for free. Those who want the shelters must pay for their relocation, which could cost $9,000, Haase said.

Application periods for the FEMA shelters will be opened in rounds to different groups.

Shelters not promised to applicants in this round will be made available for the next. Applications then will be accepted from places that operate 24 hours to care for at-risk people, such as nursing homes and group homes for the elderly or disabled. That round will open after Sept. 17.

After that round, if there are still FEMA shelters available, applications would be opened to places that provide less than 24-hour care for at-risk residents, such as day care centers and preschools.

Applications for the city’s FEMA shelter giveaway are available at www.joplinmo.org. Details are available by calling 624-0820, ext. 251.

In discussions of the tornado fund board on Wednesday, chairman Phil Stinnett said the board had previously discussed making applications available to help nonprofits pay for installation of the FEMA shelters. Another proposal calls for funding a nonprofit group that could provide individual shelters to people in need or in a lottery.

The board agreed Wednesday to accept proposals. An announcement is to be made as to when applications for those proposals are to be taken, the board agreed.

In another matter, the board authorized a grant of $50,000 to Rebuild Joplin. The grant had been on hold until the organization, which repairs and rebuilds tornado-damaged houses, had finished spending an earlier grant.



Storm shelters

THE FEMA SHELTERS hold 32 to 34 people and are intended for commercial rather than residential use.

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