Shelter Etowah is a partnership between the Gadsden/Etowah County Emergency Management Agency and participating local organizations to promote safe sheltering habits and provide a safe, temporary shelter from tornadoes for the residents of Etowah County.
The National Weather Service recommends the following with regards to sheltering from tornadoes:
- Find a pre-determined shelter, such as a basement
- Get on the lowest floor, in a small interior room such as a closet, bathroom or interior hallway
- Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible
- Stay away from windows and doors
- Leave mobile homes for a sturdy building well in advance of severe weather.
- Get under something sturdy, such as a heavy table, if available
- Protect yourself from flying debris by using pillows, heavy coats, blankets or quilts
- Use bicycle or motorcycle helmets to protect your head
Shelter Etowah does not involve the long-term opening of a building for mass care. It is only meant for short-term, severe weather sheltering.
- Basically, we are looking for safe place for people to go during tornadoes.
Most calls received by the EMA from the public during times of severe weather are from people looking for a safe place to go when tornadic weather threatens their homes.
According to data from the US Census Bureau, 12% of the population of Etowah County live in mobile homes.
- Mobile homes are not safe from tornadoes. An EF-0 tornado (65-85 mph) can overturn an unsecured mobile home. An EF-2 tornado (113-135 mph) can completely destroy a mobile home.
- Many site built homes are not fortified well enough to withstand a direct impact from a tornado.
What makes a good shelter area?
- A brick building
- Interior walls away from windows
- At least 150 square feet
- Good parking area