HAMILTON, AL (WBRC) - With the threat of tornadoes looming, storm shelters filled up quickly in Hamilton on Saturday night.
Marion County Emergency Management Director Jimmy Mills listened intently to reports from the National Weather Service while mapping out a plan of action.
"All hands are on deck and ready to respond if they are needed," Mills said.
Mills warned families to prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.
"Be ready to go to your safe place. Have more than one way of being notified. Don't depend on tornado sirens. The weather radio is my first choice. The weather app on your phone is second choice. Whichever one you like the best go for that," said Mills.
A mile up the road from the EMA offices, families began gathering at one of the many storm shelters located throughout the county.
Randall and Leslie Rice huddled together with their daughter at the newer shelter on 4th Avenue SW.
“I am a little nervous. I mean you never know what could happen,” said Randall.
The Rice family survived disastrous tornadoes that struck Marion County two years prior.
Although they did not lose their home, Leslie Rice says several neighbors did, and many others were injured. She credits getting her family to a shelter for keeping them safe.
“I just rather be safe than sorry. Get them all somewhere safe for now. If it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen, but at least we’ll be here,” said Leslie.
According to county officials, area shelters would remain open if severe weather remained a threat.