Storm shelter guidelines bill making its way through legislature


MADISON COUNTY, Ala. — A bill making its way through the Legislature would put specific guidelines in place for storm shelters across the state.

Senate Bill 43 is all about developing guidelines to identify and designate safer shelters.

In the bill, it reads the minimum guidelines would include providing local EMAs with methods for notifying the community about safer places, providing an application process for those offering a safer place facility, and requiring safer place facilities to satisfy building codes, including a second exit, smoke detectors, and sufficient sanitary facilities.

The option of storm shelters that are safe makes a huge impact for those seeking shelter.

Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong says the destruction from 10 years ago shows the importance of safe places for residents to go to.

“We’ve seen time and again what tornadoes can do to our community,” said Strong. “In 2011, practically 350 homes totally destroyed right there in western Madison County. Thousands with major damage and nine of our neighbors lost their lives.”

Many are saying this bill would give a safer place for Alabamians to take shelter during a storm.

If the bill passes, the Alabama EMA would be required to develop specific guidelines by the end of the year.

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