County administrators remind public to register their storm shelters
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - If you have a storm shelter, county administrators from Hockley and Lubbock counties say now is the time to register it.
After severe weather, you could find yourself trapped inside a storm shelter. For this reason, Lubbock County Emergency Management Coordinator Clinton Thetford says it makes it hard to locate someone quickly if it isn’t registered.
“We’re not going to know it’s there, we’re not going to go look for it,” Thetford said.
He says it is important to have the information in the system because it cuts response times down a lot.
“Biggest thing is it enhances that rapid response for us to get to you quicker and get you out if you’re trapped in your storm shelter, very quickly,” Thetford said.
Hockley County Emergency Management Coordinator, Cole Kirkland, says this time saved can save lives.
“Being able to hand a map or a database over to two or three teams streamlines the recovery process or getting to people before it’s too late,” Kirkland said.
On the forms, it will ask you for the type of storm shelter, your information, and where it’s located, including the GPS coordinates. Thetford says knowing those coordinates is crucial.
“If a major tornado comes down and all of the structures are damaged, it may be hard finding an address,” Kirkland said. “So, that’s why we need those GPS coordinates.”
Both Kirkland and Thetford recommend everyone sign up for mass notification systems to get emergency alerts beforehand.
“Before the storm, we encourage people to sign up for our mass notifications system,” Thetford said. “The City of Lubbock uses the LBK Alert system.”
Kirkland says to use the notification systems for warnings beforehand, but not to rely on them to call for somebody when you may be trapped in a cellar.
“Take your cellphone and make sure it’s charged when you go in the cellar but it’s not the end all be all because very potentially a cell tower is going to be damaged in the tornado or weather system,” Kirkland said.
The databases in both counties are updated frequently in case of severe weather.
If you have already registered your shelter, and its location has not changed, you do not need to fill out a new form.
To fill out a form for Hockley county, you can click here and click on “In this department.”
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