Colbert County makes storm shelters easier to find - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Colbert County makes storm shelters easier to find

Colbert County EMA uses mobile technology to make it easier to find storm shelters. (Source: WAFF) Colbert County EMA uses mobile technology to make it easier to find storm shelters. (Source: WAFF)
Colbert County EMA uses mobile technology to make it easier to find storm shelters. (Source: WAFF) Colbert County EMA uses mobile technology to make it easier to find storm shelters. (Source: WAFF)
COLBERT COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

Colbert County is making it much easier for people to find their storm shelters.

"No matter how much we emphasis ahead of time, know where your shelter is, know how to get there, go there before the storm hits. People still wait till the last minute and so we get several calls during the busy time wanting to know," said Colbert County's assistant director of 911, Michael Smith.

Now all people will have to do is pull up the Colbert County Emergency Management Agency website from any device and click on a shelter.

"It will show you directions from wherever you want it to show it from, or if you’re on your phone and you click on it. It will give you driving directions where you are based on your phone's GPS," Smith said.

So if someone is traveling through this county and hears the sirens go off, the link will give you turn-by-turn directions to get you to the closest shelter.

"Especially if someone who doesn't live here and travels, say 72 through the county commuting from one place to another, if they are just able to access that link and get to the website, they don't need to know anything about where shelters are in the county cause these links will take them right to the shelter," said Smith.

Colbert County has 22 community shelters with a few more on the way. They open them up when wind speeds reach 45 to 50 mph, even if a tornado watch or warning has not been issued yet.

"Our main concern is to make sure people are safe and to save as many lives, which is the whole reason why we had the shelters installed in the first place," Smith said.

Colbert County EMA will be sending out the link to the listings of shelters on every social media platform before severe weather strikes.

Franklin County is also working to do the same as well as adding road signs.

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