Harvest shelter adds new layer of protection in Madison Co. - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Harvest shelter adds new layer of protection in Madison Co.

The new Harvest shelter received its certificate of occupancy Tuesday - a day before potentially dangerous storms are set to move in. (Source: WAFF) The new Harvest shelter received its certificate of occupancy Tuesday - a day before potentially dangerous storms are set to move in. (Source: WAFF)
The shelter can house 480 and was the result of a woman's application for a FEMA grant. (Source: WAFF) The shelter can house 480 and was the result of a woman's application for a FEMA grant. (Source: WAFF)
HARVEST, AL (WAFF) -

Thanks to a grant, a Madison County community came together to get a $1 million storm shelter built in Harvest.

The certificate of occupancy for the shelter was granted Tuesday - less than 24 hours before a potentially dangerous storm system enters the Tennessee Valley.

"On April 27, 2011, our community was devastated," said Suzanne Katschke.

Because of that day in history, she knew she had to help make her community safe.

"I didn't want to see this community have this experience again," she said.

Katschke wrote a FEMA grant and was awarded the money to have a storm shelter built at Crosswinds Church off Wall Triana Highway.

"I just think our whole community sleeps better knowing we have it," said Katschke.

Before long, construction on the storm shelter began - and now it's severe weather-ready.


This shelter - and dozens of others - can be found in this interactive map. We would like to point out that while we try to include as many as we can, this list is not exhaustive - we urge you to contact your local emergency management agency for the location of the public shelter nearest you.


“When you have someone walk into a church and you say, 'How you doing today,' and they say, 'Not so well - I lost my daughter in the tornado,' it kind of moves something in your heart," Katschke said.

And for her seeing this building come to life, she knows it's the best thing to help protect the place she calls home.

"It'll be worth it the first time a tornado comes through and I know that people are safe. It could be tomorrow, it could be next April, it could be next November, but that'll be the time when it's all worth it."

The shelter is open to the public and holds 480 people.

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