Storm Shelter Guidelines Bill Gets Its Way Through Legislature


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MADISON COUNTY, Alabama – A bill passed by the Legislature would put in place specific guidelines for storm shelters across the state.

Senate Bill 43 is to develop guidelines for identifying and designating safer shelters.

In the bill, it is stated that the minimum guidelines would include providing local EMAs with methods to inform the community of safer places, providing an application process for those who offer a safer place, and the requirement for safer facilities to meet building codes, including a second exit, smoke detectors and sufficient sanitary facilities.

The option of safe storm shelters has a huge impact on those seeking shelter.

Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong said the destruction of 10 years ago shows the importance of safe places to residents.

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

Many say this bill would give Alabamians a safer place 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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