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Tuscaloosa County EMA creates private storm shelter registry for first responders

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 6:47 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency has created an online registry for people who have private tornado shelters in their homes. Now they’re encouraging people with them to sign up.

“If you live in the county and you have volunteer fire departments, you need to make sure that the fire department that’s going to respond to your location knows that you have a storm shelter,” Tuscaloosa County EMA Director Nick Lolley explained.

Lolley called his agency’s new storm shelter registry a good way for first responders to know where and who to look for if a tornado hits your home.

“If a house is not blown away, it’s on the foundation right? So, we need to know how many people live there, then first responders do, and if you get out ok and where to look for you. That’s the reason we’re doing it. Because some things happened in 2011 we’re just trying to make it better,” Lolley continued.

Only first responders will have access to the information on the storm shelter registry. Registration is optional, but it could save time if first responders know ahead of time that the place they’re searching after a tornado has a shelter in it and how many people could be trapped inside it under rubble.

“They need to be able to search that. They need to be able to know the shelter is underground and it’s in the garage. So that way they can go straight to that, get the stuff off the top, open it up,” Lolley added.

The registry is not just limited to houses. If your business or church has a storm shelter, they’d like for you to register it in Tuscaloosa County as well. You can register by clicking here.

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