Underground safe rooms are typically built below garages and can cost around $4,000.
Besides rebuilding or repairing, homeowners are likely to suffer other expenses, including a rise in home insurance premiums, Ramsey said.
“Three years of hail bombardments of apocalyptic proportions and then this? It has to result in some give someplace,” he said.
Residents clearing massive piles of debris were also trying to get hold of essentials like mobile phones and prescription drugs lost in the destruction. Cellular service providers set up mobile retail outlets and charging stations. At least one was offering free phone calls and loaner phones.
Insurance companies have also set up emergency operation centers to take calls from people trying to get prescriptions filled and handle other health care needs.
The emotional trauma of the destruction compounded the tornado’s cost.
With her son holding her elbow, 83-year-old Colleen Arvin walked up her driveway Tuesday to see what was left of her home of 40 years.
Part of the roof was sitting in the front yard, and the siding from the front of her home for the past 40 years was gone. As her son and grandsons picked through what was left of her belongings, Arvin found some dark humor in the situation.
“Oh thank God,” she said, laughing, when a grandson brought over her keys. “We can get in the house.”
Rescue workers have been searching tirelessly for survivors and victims, despite the difficulty of navigating devastated neighborhoods because all the street signs were gone. Some rescuers used smartphones or GPS devices to guide them through areas with no recognizable landmarks.
Moore Fire Chief Gary Bird said Tuesday he was confident there are no more bodies or survivors in the rubble. Every damaged home had been searched at least once, Bird said, but his goal was to conduct three searches of each building just to be certain there were no more bodies or survivors.
“I’m 98 percent sure we’re good,” Bird said.