Alabama Public Storm Shelter Saga

This blog has previously covered the difficulties in Alabama with their attempt to create effective public shelters for tornadoes.

They now have the shelters ready. But, wouldn't you know it. The Alabama highway department thinks signs that point out the locations of the shelters are a bad idea.

Now the state is stepping in to prevent county schools Superintendent Charles Warren from putting up road signs meant to guide people to the shiny new shelter FEMA built at Plainview High School. That school was devastated last spring by a tornado that roared through during the epic April 27 outbreak, in which 33 people lost their lives in DeKalb County. 
Because the proposed road signs would be placed along a state highway, the Alabama Department of Transportation opposed Warren's request for street signs. 
In an email exchange with Warren obtained by Fox News, DOT traffic engineer Travis Kilgore explained the state's position. 
"The use of shelter directional signs have not yet been approved for installation on state roads," he wrote, adding that "the overuse and overcrowding of signs can be a distraction to motorist (sic) and often lead to a disregard or disrespect of necessary regulatory and roadway warning signs." 
Alabama, it seems, does not consider directions to a tornado shelter "necessary." 
So, if the location of these public shelters -- paid for with our tax dollars -- is revealed, people will lose respect for road signs?! 


  1. Ever wonder why so many parks do not have tornado siren coverage or storm shelters? The federal government does not consider eiother to be a necessary public safety function, and so bars both from any park land purchased with federal money. This includes land purchased with federal flood buyout money (which is the vast majority of local government parkland in areas near major rivers).

  2. Ronald Reagan: "The most terrifying words in the English language, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help'."


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