COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — As we get ready to head into the second severe weather season, one North Alabama county is looking to provide more shelters for its residents to go to when inclement weather strikes.
Colbert County is looking to install another storm shelter in the county.
While 27 storm shelters are currently installed in the county – two more are in the process of being installed. Colbert County Emergency Management Agency/911 Director Michael Smith says they’re hoping to add one more to their list. In order to do so, they have to secure some funding.
Back in March, the county experienced a severe weather event that resulted in a disaster declaration. After a disaster declaration is declared, hazard mitigation funds become available for communities across the U.S.
Colbert County has received some of those funds and leaders are looking to add another storm shelter.
“Having the need for a community shelter is not just about tornadoes…it’s about any type of damaging wind event,” Smith stated.
Smith tells News 19 that the Colbert County Commission will have to decide where the shelter will be located. Once that’s decided, the application for funding will be submitted.
“The purpose of a community storm shelter is to just be able to have a safe space to go before the storm hits. We highly encourage folks to not wait until severe weather is upon you before you try to make your way to a storm shelter,” Smith said.
Smith says while they have received a lot of thanks from residents when it comes to the county providing them with a safe place to go when severe weather strikes, there are still gaps that need to be filled.
“We use every opportunity to make sure that we’re filling those gaps, and we hear from those people too. We want to hear from those people because we want to make sure we’re covering all the bases and all the gaps,” Smith said.
Smith adds that he expects the application will be submitted before the end of the year, but it could take another 10 months or so to be approved.