Safe places during severe weather in West Tennessee

CHESTER COUNTY, Tenn. — With the threat of severe weather coming to our area, what are some ways you can prepare?

Storm Shelter

With the threat of severe weather coming soon, we looked to see where the available storm shelters that the public could use if they do not have a safe place of their own.

Many counties have a location, including Chester County. Their storm shelter is in the middle of town in the basement of City Hall.

“Whenever this building was being built 20 years ago, the administration at that time had the thought process that they wanted to have something for the community to come to anytime there was inclement weather predicted. Somewhere they could come and have a safe place to come. And in the downstairs in the basement area of the Henderson City Hall, near the entrance to the police department, there is an entrance to a safe area. There is seating in there. There is bathroom areas. And it is just a place that people can come to and feel safe in times where there could be bad storms being predicted,” said Henderson County Assistant Police Chief Tim Crowe.

Gibson County has a safe place at the FEMA building in Milan at 1101 Williamson Street.

Dyer County has one on the campus of Newbourne Elementary at 401 North York Street in Newbern and across from the fire department.

Crockett County has a shelter in Alamo on East Park Street.

Chester County has one at Henderson City Hall.

Madison County has one at the McKeller-Sipes Regional Airport.

“This is something, like I said, the city administration thought about years ago,” Crowe said. “They know everybody doesn’t have a safe place, maybe, in their home. They may not have a storm shelter, or maybe live in a mobile home or something. And it’s very important to have a safe, secure place like this for people. [They] can come and feel safe, and hopefully, in the event there was a tornado or strong straight line winds, they’ve got a place they can come be comfortable and be safe.”

There are many different ways you should prepare for potential tornadoes. People that live in apartment complexes should seek the center of a hallway if you do not have time to get to the bottom floor.

In your house, you should get to a room with no windows if you do not have a cellar or a basement.

If you live in a mobile home, it is best to get to the nearest sturdy building, as mobile homes are not the safest place during tornados.

Finding shelter right away is very important during tornado warnings. Most counties have shelters open to the public during severe weather.

It is important to find out where these places are and make arrangements to be there before the weather gets too bad.

You can reach out to your county’s emergency management agency to see if they have any public safety shelters.

  • Benton County EMA — (731) 279-4791
  • Carroll County EMA — (731) 986-1912
  • Chester County EMA — (731) 989-5674
  • Crockett County EMA — (731) 696-2459
  • Decatur County EMA — (731) 257-1096
  • Dyer County EMA — (731) 286-7831
  • Fayette County EMA — (901) 465-5239
  • Gibson County EMA — (731) 855-7688
  • Hardeman County EMA — (731) 609-3971
  • Haywood County EMA — (731) 772-1227
  • Henderson County EMA — (731) 968-1567
  • Henry County EMA — (731) 644-2678
  • Lake County EMA — (731) 253-9911
  • Lauderdale County EMA — (731) 635-3243
  • Madison County EMA — (731) 427-1271
  • McNairy County EMA — (731) 645-3195
  • Obion County EMA — (731) 599-4347
  • Shelby County EMA — (901) 222-6702
  • Tipton County EMA — (901) 840-3000
  • Weakley County EMA — (731) 364-2647

You can read more about the potential weather threat from Chief Meteorologist Joel Barnes here.

Find live radar, hour-by-hour forecasts and more in the WBBJ Weather app.

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