COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio homeowners have the opportunity to apply for reimbursement for the purchase and construction or installation of a tornado safe room inside or outside of their homes.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency’s (Ohio EMA) rebate program will be accepting applications from Jan. 4 to Feb. 4. This is the ninth year of Ohio EMA’s Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program. To date, more than $1.9 million in rebates have been awarded to homeowners.

According to Ohio EMA, a safe room is a structure specifically designed to provide protection in extreme weather events.

“Safe rooms offer protection to a tornado’s strong winds and resulting airborne debris and provides near-absolute protection for occupants,” said Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick. “We urge Ohioans to apply for these grants.”

These safe rooms can be constructed or installed in the basement, beneath a concrete slab foundation or garage floor, in an interior room on the first floor, as a stand-alone structure near the home or buried in the yard.

“In neighboring Kentucky last month, a catastrophic tornado killed close to 100 people, and Ohio has seen its own share of deadly tornadoes as well,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Because our entire state is vulnerable to tornadoes, we’re offering these rebates to help cover some of the costs associated with the added protection of a safe room.”

The deadline to apply for the Ohio Safe Room Rebate Program is Feb. 4 at 5 p.m.

According to Ohio EMA, residents selected for the program are eligible for a rebate of up to 75 percent of the cost to install or construct a safe room — up to a maximum of $4,875.

For more information and to apply, click here.