Shelter must open for severe weather

Published 10:08 am Friday, April 22, 2016

Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Clifford Galey recently presented the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen with a plan that outlined the process of opening the Brookhaven Community Storm Shelter during severe weather.

“The mayor and myself met with FEMA and MEMA out at the storm shelter a few weeks ago,” Galey said. “After that meeting with them, we learned some things we did not know about the contract for this building, which says that we have to open it for severe weather.”

Galey said he has worked with numerous officials to create a plan that would outline the process for opening the shelter during severe weather. Police Chief Bobby Bell agreed to provide an off-duty officer as security when the building is open, which will be the biggest non-utility expense, Galey said.

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“We’re looking at opening the shelter for a significant weather event or a tornado watch with a rating of 5 or greater, issued by the National Weather Service,” Galey said.  “That’s what most (facilities) throughout the state are doing.”

The board approved Galey’s plan to open the storm shelter for severe weather events. Galey said he would do his best to notify the community when the shelter would be open.

Another issue FEMA and MEMA presented to Galey during their meeting was the name of the shelter.

“They were not happy that we called it the FEMA building,” Galey said. “That was one of their big things — that we remove that name.”

The facility will now be referred to as the Brookhaven Community Storm Shelter.