Archived Story

Shelters must be accessible during warnings

Published 8:19pm Friday, January 27, 2012

Chilton County has done a great job of building community storm shelters across the county. It’s a blessing our residents have that citizens in other places do not.

During severe weather, the shelters protect those who might not have any other safe place to go — they save lives.

Nowhere is that clearer than in Maplesville, one of the hardest hit places in Monday’s tornadoes. Almost 150 people rode out the storm in the shelter, which even had a tree fall on top of it.

The shelter and everyone inside it emerged unharmed after the storm’s fury had passed.

But at least two community storm shelters were not open or not accessible for all or part of Monday’s severe weather outbreak.

Thankfully, no one was seriously injured from the two tornadoes that struck Chilton County. But next time, we might not be as fortunate.

Now is the time to evaluate the response from Monday’s storms and look for ways to improve for the future. If any changes in how shelters are run and operated are needed, now is the time to do so.

Unfortunately, this won’t be the last time Chilton County is hit by severe weather. No one should rush to a storm shelter during a tornado warning only to find that they can’t get inside.

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  • Katherine Reece

    Which shelters weren’t open? And does anyone know WHY they weren’t open?

    I wish we could be allowed to be pets, as long as they are leashed or crated.

    (Report comment)

    • zoninggirl

      Union grove was very late to open but I thinks that’s all worked out. As for pets, after taking shelter there I can understand why no pets. It is cramped in there, close confines with small children. No place or room for pets and many pets get nervous and aggressive in settings such as that.

      (Report comment)

      • Katherine Reece

        Yes, quite true. That’s why I suggested they must be crated. I’m very lucky, where we live we seem to be in a hole and the tornadoes pass over us, or they go just north or south of us.

        We’re planning on building on our land soon, when we do I want a storm shelter that can be accessed from INSIDE the house.

        (Report comment)

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