Jeff Co EMA says wear masks and gloves if using community storm shelters

PPE at storm shelters

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A lot of people rely on community storm shelters to ride out severe weather, but what about social distancing? How can you and your family stay safe from coronavirus if you do go to a storm shelter?

The Jefferson County EMA said they’re really trying to manage two major events: the expected severe weather Sunday and the coronavirus pandemic.

So, in a Facebook live session Friday, Jeff Co EMA said to plan now, don’t wait until the last minute, especially if you are one of the many who rely on community storm shelters.

Before you go to the storm shelter, make sure you and your family members have a mask and gloves.

Drive to the storm shelter before or during the tornado watch. You should not be driving to the storm shelter during a Tornado Warning. Jeff Co EMA said it is too late and too dangerous to drive during a warning.

Once you get to the storm shelter, they said to spend time with your family in the car listening to the news on your phone or the radio to hear the latest weather updates.

“When the storms gets to the Jefferson County area or the Tuscaloosa area, that is a great time to get out of the car, make your way into the storm shelter, get your masks on and gloves on, then sit as a family, huddle together, and distance yourself from other families who are doing the exact same thing,” said Chris Tate with Jefferson County EMA.

He said after the storm passes and it’s safe to leave the shelter, you need to properly throw away the masks and gloves.

Wash your hands and cell phones. And when you get back home, immediately wash the clothes you were wearing.

To find storm shelters near you in Jefferson County, click here.

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