Counties prepare for inclement weather, list storm shelters

JACKSON, Tenn. — With severe weather in the forecast, we reached out to local EMA directors to see what they were doing to prepare for possible severe weather.

Madison County says they will activate their emergency operations center Friday night at the McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport. They will bring in all their emergency support functions such as fire, police, transportation, and health to coordinate their resources.

The airport does have a storm shelter for those in Madison County that will open if a tornado watch occurs and close after the watch is canceled.

“It’s not very big. It’s not very comfortable. It’s four walls and a concrete floor, but it is a tornado safe space,” said Jason Moore, the Madison County EMA Director.

Carroll County says that they are preparing for the weather by monitoring the weather with radar and staying in touch with the National Weather Service. For emergencies, they have been in communication with dispatch to prepare them as well.

For citizens, they are posting on social media, warning citizens about the weather. And in the event of a tornado watch, they will post a list of storm shelters in Carroll County.

“We’re trying to make sure that we have all our emergency equipment charged, our radios charged, our generators full of fuel and charged,” said Janice Newman, the Carroll County EMA Director.

Henderson County says they are preparing by having their emergency services function check their equipment, such as chainsaws and heavy equipment. They are also making sure all their first responder agencies are informed about the severe weather and making sure they keep open lines of communication between them.

If you want to stay up-to-date on Henderson County weather, you can sign up on their website for their code red text alerts or text “hendersoncotn” to 99411 and it will reply with a link to sign up.

“There’s multiple ways, and we encourage them to use every way possible, especially in an overnight event, which is kind of what we’re looking at. Really have something available to them that they can get those alerts while they’re asleep and something that will wake them up if there’s something going on,” said Drew Cook, the Henderson County EMA Director.

Hardin County says if you are a resident and you want to receive their Nixle alerts, text “hctnalerts” to 888777.

All four EMA directors offered tips if severe weather occurs.

They say to make sure you have a plan, and know where your safe space is. If you have a garage, bring your vehicle inside. If you have pets, bring them inside as well.

Make sure in your safe space, you have blankets, flashlights, a cell phone with charged batteries, and even a helmet of some kind.

In Gibson County, the Milan Police Department issued a statement saying the FEMA building will be open to the public at 7 p.m. at 1101 Williamson Street.

The Weakley County Courthouse will be open as a storm shelter until the “all clear” is given.

In Henry County, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Paris Police Department will be opening storm shelters from 5:30 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.  at Harrelson, Henry, Inman, Lakewood and Rhea.

In McNairy County, the south Courthouse door is open for anyone seeking shelter.

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

Categories: Local News, News