Project Impact wants to make houses safer

Wednesday, May 8th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Most Green Country residents are accustomed to severe weather - and many are taking measures to protect themselves - like installing safe rooms in their home.

News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger reports that residents who live at the Village at Central Park are lucky - because each unit has a Safe Room installed.

Safe Rooms are made of steel and are built to protect you and your family in the event of severe weather like a tornado. And they can be pretty expensive for families who can't afford them.

But a local organization is helping those families stay safe too. Rutilo Gomez says he and his family feel safe now that a Safe Room is in their home's garage. "We don't know when a tornado will hit and now here's this shelter."

He doesn't have a basement and wasn't prepared for a twister if one were to touchdown in Tulsa. But, thanks to a $35,000 Community Development Grant, low income families like the Gomez' will feel safe in Green Country.

"Our goal is to try to make the safe room more affordable. We feel that everyone in Tulsa should have the opportunity to be safe."

The Community Action Project of Tulsa County, Project Impact and the City of Tulsa's Urban Development worked together to obtain the grant, to help out families who otherwise couldn't afford it. "These safe rooms have been tested by Texas Tech using four by fours shot at a hundred miles an hour to see if they can stand up to debris impact"

Tim Lovell with Tulsa's Project Impact says it's a sturdy source of protection. When a tornado strikes - the steel room will weather the storm.

Tim Lovell, Tulsa Project Impact "There's actually a case of a safe room that survived the May 3rd 1999 tornado in OKC. Everything else around it was destroyed, but it was the only left standing in that neighborhood"

Lovell says every Tulsa family has the right to feel safe regardless of their income. "Everyone who's been involved with this project has been excited about making Tulsa safe for everyone."

For more Information on Safe Rooms, visit the Project Impact website. Tulsa Project Impact is going to apply for additional money to install more safe rooms in the future.