Hopkins Co. leaders encouraging people to register storm shelters

Hopkins Co. leaders encouraging people to register storm shelters
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 6:14 PM CDT
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MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WFIE) - Hopkins County Emergency Management officials are encouraging people to register their storm shelters with the county. This lets first responders know where to find you if severe weather strikes.

EMA Director Nick Bailey knows the damage severe weather can do. He, like so many, lived through it on Dec. 10, 2021.

When homes and buildings are destroyed, first responders need to know where to find you. That’s where the storm shelter map comes into play.

“If they assess that area and they see, hey we’ve got a storm shelter on that location, we need to check a little better,” Bailey said. “Maybe there’s debris on top of that shelter location. We need to make sure people are safe.”

Bailey says there’s been a little bit of an uptick in shelter registrations since December 2021, but says a lot of people are still rebuilding.

As those homes are rebuilt, a lot of people are including storm shelters. That was the case for Greg and Anita Black.

“Heaven forbid anything should happen, we hope and pray it doesn’t of course, but I feel safe and secure that we have this room available to us,” Anita said.

The Blacks moved into their rebuilt home one month ago. On Friday, as Anita packed her shelter with emergency essentials, she registered it with the county.

You can register by clicking HERE and then selecting the online registration form. That will load a Google Form that takes just a few minutes to fill out. After that, your information is sent to first responders and stored until a severe weather event, when it may be needed.

Bailey says they have just under 30 shelters registered with the county, something he says is a valuable tool when disaster strikes.

“We know it’s either in a basement, a garage, right, left, front yard, back yard,” Bailey said. “If they’re in the damage path, we would know where to send first responders.”

If you don’t have a storm shelter in your home, you can find a list of public safe places HERE.