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Red Cross awards $6.5 million in storm shelter grants to Oklahoma communities

The American Red Cross has donated enough money to install as many as 4,000 shelters to homeowners affected by last May’s tornadoes in Oklahoma.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: May 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm •  Published: May 15, 2014

The American Red Cross announced $6.5 million in grants Thursday to Oklahoma communities affected by last May’s tornadoes.

It brings the total amount donated by the nonprofit organization to $10.3 million for the cause, with all proceeds going toward the installation of as many as 4,000 storm shelters.

Oklahoma municipalities, counties and tribes receiving the grants are Newcastle, Midwest City, Norman, Pottawatomie County (administered by the city of Shawnee), Cleveland County, Canadian County, the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

To qualify for Red Cross funding, shelters must meet or exceed Federal Emergency Management Agency standards.

“Having the opportunity to protect and prepare the families of Oklahoma is one of the goals of the Red Cross,” said Janienne Bella, CEO of the Red Cross of Central and Western Oklahoma, in a news release. “Recovery from these devastating tornadoes and floods takes time and help, and we know these grants will move many communities in our area further along that continuum of recovery with one less thing they need to worry about so they can focus on getting back on their feet.”

In January, the Red Cross awarded residents of Moore a $3.75 million grant, which provided for up to 1,500 storm shelters.