Storm Shelters available for residents in need
Published 7:00 am Friday, May 30, 2014
Pearl River County received three storm shelters, which were completed in 2013, through FEMA’s federally funded Hurricane Katrina Grant program.
Two of the 10,000 sq. feet buildings are located on the campus of Picayune Memorial High School and Pearl River Central High School in Carriere. A third shelter is located on the Fairgrounds property in Poplarville.
Pearl River County Emergency Management Director and Fire Services Coordinator Danny Manley describes the buildings as empty shells with an equipment room, a storage and security room, and a food preparation area. They also have one restroom for males and one restroom for females.
Manley said the shelters are capable of holding 887 people in a standing room only situation. He added they were built to FEMA 361 standards to withstand a 200 mile per hour wind speed.
“That would be a Category 5 rated hurricane,” Manley said. “If there is a Category 5 hurricane coming our way, most people will have to evacuate. But the shelters would be a good location for police and other essential personnel to stay during the event. Others, who were unable to evacuate for some reason would also be able to use the shelter.”
He said the shelters are primarily for hiding from the event. Residents considering evacuating to shelters should bring their own supplies and keep in mind that no pets are allowed.
Manley said that similar shelters have been constructed across the Gulf Coast and Louisiana to give people a place to hide from storm surge.
“I believe the other shelters that have been constructed have alleviated the pressure of so many people turning to Pearl River County to evacuate during weather events,” Manley said.