By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Lots of folks take shelter in the basements of their homes during tornado warnings or severe windstorms. But what if you take cover in a root cellar, or other detached shelter? Would rescue crews know where to look for you after a storm if you required emergency assistance? What if trees and other debris covered the entrance and blocked you inside?
These questions probably aren’t going to be the first thing to cross your mind when you see a funnel cloud bearing down on your home and family. But if you are making a severe storm plan, between stockpiling batteries and supplying first aid kits, you might want to consider registering your storm shelter with your local emergency management agency.
Registration, deputy director of emergency management Joanne Dunfee explained, isn’t something that’s required of property owners with storm shelters. But it is something that can give them extra peace of mind if they want to make sure rescue crews know where to look for them after a storm event.
It wasn’t something the city offered until recently, Dunfee added. But after a resident who moved here from another tornado prone state put in a stand-alone storm shelter, and contacted Dunfee’s office about registering it, Emergency Management put their new program in place.
Those interested in registering their storm shelter can pick up and fill out a form that lists the resident’s name, home and cell phone numbers, the shelter address, and location on the property; such as the front yard, back yard, left or right side yard, in-home safe rooms, basements, etc. They can also list what type of shelter it is. For instance, if your storm shelter is a shielded crawl space under the stairs, you can list that on the form and emergency rescue crews will know to look for you there. Same for if it’s a basement, or a detached in-ground shelter like a storm cellar.
You can also let first responders know how many family members are in the household, how many and what types of pets, and provide additional information related to things like health accommodations – for instance access to oxygen tanks or wheelchair accommodations – that might be needed.
Registration forms are available from the Grayson fire department or city building, and completed forms can be dropped off again at either location or mail the completed form to: Grayson City Bldg., 302 East Main Street, Grayson, KY, 41143.
Those who live in the county, outside of city limits, may also fill out a registration form. Dunfee said Grayson Emergency Management will forward that information to the Carter County EM director for county records.
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