Madison County EMA launches severe weather shelter online database

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – When severe weather is on its way, the phones don’t stop ringing.  Families worried for their safety call 911, the mayor’s office, county commissioners, the United Way, WHNT News 19, and local emergency management agencies to find out where they can seek shelter.

Up until now, there has not been an  immediate resource to aggregate or get info on all of the nearest shelters and their policies in the midst of the storm.

Now, Madison County residents can find out where their nearest shelter is, when it is open, and even if they can bring their family pets, at your finger tips.

Shelter Madison County – at –  puts every open place of refuge and FEMA certified shelter on the map.

Red dots indicate the shelters are closed and a green dot indicates it is open. You can click the dots on the map to see a description of the shelter, their policies, and accessibility.

Shelter operators have access to the site to update when they open and close.

There are seven locations included on the site, but the EMA and United Way hope for many more before severe weather season starts.

“The goal of this program is to populate this map with a lot more dots,” said Paige Colburn, an officer with the Madison County EMA. “If your business, community organization, congregation is willing to open your doors and serve in this capacity that is what Shelter Madison County is looking for.”

To get on the map, contact:

  • Clay Vandiver, President of United Way of Madison County, (256)536-0745 or (256) 518-8213
  • Paige Colburn, Emergency Management Officer, (256) 427-5130 or (256) 427-5188