Recently, the City of Lubbock posted on their Facebook that the Safe Room Rebate Program has been relaunched.

I didn't know it was ever un-launched or launched in the first place, but it seems like a great idea. If you build a room that will keep you from getting hurt or killed in a tornado, then Texas and FEMA will reimburse you. Heck yes!

Some of the requirements are obvious and easy to understand. You have to own the home and/or outdoor property that the safe room will be situated on. That makes sense. You may need special permission if your home is historical or built before 1972. Okay, fine -- old stuff might not be worth vamping up or might need to be "preserved." You have to get pre-approved before you start building or before you buy a pre-fab structure (no retro rebates). Okay -- so far, so good.

Now, let's get into the confusing stuff. The structure must be above the 100-year flood elevation or 1 percent annual chance flood elevation (if you are building for tornados, not hurricanes). I'm not sure how you go about figuring that out except to pull your house's deed paperwork downtown. I'd probably start by calling 211.

There is a long list of requirements starting on page 16 of this document. It's a lot of paperwork, basically. But hey, if it means building a safe room for your family for free (after rebate), it might be worth it to you to figure it all out.

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