You may be safe in your storm shelter, but can your first responders find you?
In May of 2011, a F5 tornado tore through Joplin, Missouri killing 161 people and leveling one-third of the city. While many resident’s lives were spared by safely gathering in residential storm shelters or cellars, in several cases fallen trees and structural debris covered the access doors making their escape difficult or impossible altogether. First responders conducting door-to-door searches for the injured and trapped often moved past these confined survivors because they were not aware of the existence of the storm shelters or where they may be located.
To help ensure that this type of situation does not occur here, the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) has implemented a county-wide Storm Shelter Registry program. By registering your storm shelter in the county’s database, first responders would know specifically where to search for survivors in the event of a tornado or other severe weather situation.
According to EMA Director Mac Purdy, “The master registry will allow us to identify structures with storm shelters in a storm’s path. While all damaged structures are searched, this storm shelter list will assist emergency responders as they conduct search and rescue operations, expediting the accountability process.”
The Williamson County EMA launched the program in cooperation with the Brentwood and Franklin Fire Departments in response to the growing number of households that are installing tornado shelters in Williamson County.
The program is free and completely voluntary, but we urge everyone who lives in Williamson County and has a storm shelter to register. For more information, please visit the county's registration link
, or follow the link on our website here