Safe Room Purchase and Rebate

Purchasing a Safe Room Under This Program

This is a rebate program. Participants must pay the total cost of their safe room upfront/out-of-pocket. The average cost of a safe room is $3,000 - $6,000.

The participant will receive a direct reimbursement from the City of Rowlett unless they choose to have the City directly reimburse their installer.

Participants may elect to finance the purchase of a safe room under this program. The purpose of this option is to decrease the non-participation rate seen in other programs, due to the high cost of a safe room. There are restrictions on this option, including:

  • Only participants selected in the first full selection process will have this option.
  • After receiving a notice to proceed from Rowlett OEM, the participant will have thirty (30) days to obtain a loan and submit a copy of the agreement to Rowlett OEM. The participant will also have to provide an itemized invoice from the installer.
  • The loan period cannot be for longer than twelve (12) months.
  • The participant will have to provide proof that the loan has been completely paid off before a rebate request can be submitted.
  • The participant must have the safe room installed and complete the other required steps and documentation within six months of receiving the notice to proceed.
  • Loan processing and interest fees are not eligible.
  • If a participant chooses to cover ineligible costs with the loan, these costs will not be reimbursed under this program.


The rebate amount will be for up to $3,000 or fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the safe room and other allowable costs (see the Eligible and Ineligible Costs section below).

Reimbursement is expected to take approximately 2-6 months after the participant has submitted all required final documentation.

The participant will be mailed a check for the total approved rebate amount.

The City of Rowlett will submit requests for reimbursement to the State on a monthly basis. However, this timeframe may be shortened or extended based on the turnaround speed of the State.

Reimbursement Process Steps:

  1. The participant purchases the safe room and submits all required documentation, including proof of payment, to Rowlett OEM.
  2. Rowlett OEM reviews the documentation and works with the participant to correct any issues with the submitted documentation.
  3. Rowlett OEM submits the documentation to the Rowlett Financial Services Department for final review.
  4. Rowlett Financial Services reviews the documentation and works with Rowlett OEM to correct any issues with the submitted documentation.
  5. Rowlett Financial Services approves the documentation and submits an advanced payment request for a set of rebates to the State.
  6. TDEM reviews the request and documentation and works with Rowlett OEM and Financial Services to correct any issues.
  7. TDEM approves the request and releases the funds to the City.
  8. The City receives the funds and makes payment to the participant within five (5) business days.

Eligible and Ineligible Costs

Eligible Components of Residential Safe Rooms Building Systems and Components:

  • Structural systems that directly support or protect the safe room to provide near-absolute, life-safety protection
  • Doors, windows, and opening protection
  • Protection of backup mechanical, electrical, ventilation, and communication equipment necessary to provide life-safety for the safe room
  • Signage
  • Communications, including LAN drops and wiring if used for emergency communication during an event
  • Alternate source of power
  • Engineering study to calculate undefined flood elevations
  • Engineering peer review
  • Planning/engineering/architecture design fees
  • Electrical lighting and outlets
  • Ventilation
  • Inspections, including special instructions
  • ADA requirements
  • Site preparation
  • HVAC used for required ventilation

Ineligible Components of Residential Safe Rooms Building Systems and Components:

  • HVAC not used for required ventilation
  • Fire-suppression systems (sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers), unless required by code
  • First aid supplies and equipment
  • Accessible toilets and hand washing stations in the safe room
  • Soil testing
  • Storage for food, water, and safety equipment
  • Purchase of land
  • Safe room maintenance, including the purchase of warranty protection
  • Restroom fixtures not required by code or FEMA P-361
  • Paint on walls and ceilings of the safe room
  • Floor coverings - subfloors not required for life safety
  • Removal of structures from developed land
  • Kitchen cabinets, countertops, and other equipment not required for life safety
  • Security cameras and Emergency Operations Center-type equipment
  • Landscaping
  • Parking and all non-building elements unless required for ADA compliance
  • Notification systems (e.g., weather radios)*

*Rowlett OEM is working to secure funding for the purchase of weather radios for each participant.

Selecting an Installer

The City cannot recommend or promote an installer.

When choosing an installer, consider the following:

  1. FEMA does not certify safe rooms or installers. Be cautious of installers who claim that they have a FEMA certification.
  2. Installers may post information about various rebate programs, but the Rowlett program is not working with any installers.
  3. Some installers offer financing options.
  4. Some installers may require several weeks to complete an order.
  5. Some installers may focus on a specific type of same room.