Local emergency shelter options can be ready in case of large scale disasters

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --Hopefully Huntsville won't see anything like the natural disaster that is Harvey. But if we do, there are some large-scale shelter options.

Von Braun Center Director of Operations Ron Grimes said they do have a protocol in their industry to prepare the facility as a mega shelter.

"Of course it would certainly bring in all of the emergency supplies. Where would you put housing locations, showering locations, how do you set up checking people in checking people out," he explained.

Grimes said in the case of a disaster like Harvey, the South Hall and Propst Arena would be the first places they would prepare.

"South Hall we could probably easily accommodate 2,000 to possibly 2,500 with cots, leaving adequate space for emergency evacuations, things like that," he said.

They have enough space with the arena and banquet halls to accommodate another couple of thousand people. But all of that takes large-scale planning and coordination.

Grimes said what they could do immediately would be, "Getting them out of the element. That's the very first thing, and then of course we have what we call the basic essentials of life, which is you know water, food, restroom facilities."

And there could be other shelters. Greg Nelson with the Rock Family Worship Center said if a disaster like Harvey were to strike Huntsville, their doors are open.

"We just purchased the new Butler property, so right now we would have facilities for that," he said, adding that they would never deny anyone.

The Rock is sending teams to help in Houston starting September 10th. The church will be  taking up donations for the relief efforts at their services this Sunday.