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Press Release

Release Date: March 31, 2022
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

When spring arrives with brightly colored daffodils and jonquils, a danger to Chickasaw citizens presents itself as well.

Tornadoes are more likely to strike in April, May and June, according to the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma.

Storms have become less frequent in recent years, and the state has not experienced the record 171 tornadoes recorded in 1999.

Oklahoma experienced only 52 tornadoes in 2021 with no deaths, but it is best to prepared.

Andrew Scribner, assistant director of housing management services for the Chickasaw Nation and Deana Ray, admissions/certification section head for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Community Services, are prepared to give Chickasaw citizens some peace of mind.

Qualifying Chickasaws living within the historic treaty territory and citizens living outside of it, are eligible for a tornado shelter to be professionally placed on their property. At-large citizens who qualify may apply for a onetime grant of up to $2,500, according to Mr. Scribner and Ms. Ray.

Chickasaws living within the nation’s 13-county treaty territory may make application for a storm shelter. Based upon income, the shelters could be provided entirely at no cost or at greatly reduced prices, according to Mr. Scribner.

Applications must be submitted to the Chickasaw Nation Housing Administration to determine eligibility. Chickasaws should know within 10 days if they qualify, according to Ms. Ray.

Last year, approximately 40 families living inside the Chickasaw Nation qualified. Additionally, as many as 60 at large families received a storm shelter.

“We are busy from February into August each year processing applications,” Ms. Ray said. “Citizens may come into the office to make application or go online.”

Be prepared to provide:

  • CDIB/citizenship card for applicant
  • Social Security cards of all household members
  • Income verification of all household members
  • Copy of warranty deed

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Must be Chickasaw citizen
  • No outstanding debt owed to the Chickasaw Nation or the Chickasaw Nation Housing Division
  • Home must be the applicant’s primary residence

Ms. Ray said the shelters include two prefabricated concrete pieces joined and sealed before installation. The process usually takes crews a half to one full day to complete. Only one shelter is available to those who are accepted in order to ensure other Chickasaws have an opportunity to receive one.

The units measure 6 x 8 feet and meet Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) criteria.

For more information, visit Chickasaw.net/StormShelter or call (580) 421-8800.

Registration:

During a storm, debris may cover your storm shelter, making it difficult for emergency workers to find you if you are in your shelter. Registering your storm shelter allows emergency personnel to quickly locate you after a storm. The Chickasaw Nation encourages everyone with a storm shelter to register their storm shelter with their county of residence’s emergency management department.