Rowlett Asks Residents to Register Storm Shelters

Database of shelters makes it easier for first responders in disasters

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Friday, Jul 26, 2013  |  Updated 7:01 PM CDT
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The City of Rowlett has come up with a plan to make it easier to find and rescue people who might be inside their storm shelter buried under debris.

Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Rowlett Reporter

The City of Rowlett has come up with a plan to make it easier to find and rescue people who might be inside their storm shelter buried under debris.

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Rowlett is asking residents to register their storm shelters so search-and-rescue crews can easily find them, even if they are buried in debris.

With many people taking advantage of federal grants for storm shelters, city leaders would like to have their locations in a private emergency database to make it easier for first responders in a disaster.

"It's great to have a storm shelter, but if we can't find you after the emergency event has happened, then it becomes a dangerous situation," said Erin Jones, city director of community development.

First responders would use a global positioning system to pinpoint exactly where the shelters are located.

"Our emergency personnel can go in afterwards with the GPS coordinates and find where these storm shelters are, check and see if there are people inside them that need to be taken out," Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Michael Gallops said.

The program is voluntary, and permits are free.

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