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Huntsville Church opens storm shelter for severe weather

First Seventh Adventist Church is one of the churches that will open its doors to the public about an hour before the storm arrives.

Posted: Nov 5, 2018 5:54 PM
Updated: Nov 5, 2018 7:05 PM

Churches across Huntsville are opening their doors Monday night offering shelter for anyone who needs it. They step in because the city doesn't have designated shelters. 

First Seventh Adventist Church is one of the churches that will open its doors to the public about an hour before the storm arrives. They said that's to give people time to travel there safely. They also said that they will have some signage out in the parking lot directing people to the shelter. While the shelter is open to the public, not everyone plans on taking advantage of it.

"Me and my family lived in a mobile home, and we were in it. We didn't have time to get out and seek shelter. That was one of the scariest things I have ever been through in my entire life," said Lisa Moore.

Moore is referring to the tornado in April 2011. She said while seeking cover is ideal, she'll be sheltering at home this time because she's worried she won't have time to make it to a shelter safely. The facilities manager at First Seventh Adventist Church said that's why the church will open its storm shelter before the storms arrive.

"Be safe, be careful and don't take this thing for granted. Be prepared to move whenever you need to," said James Patterson.

The shelter is open to the public and can hold 225 people. The room has two monitors that will be used to track weather and for entertainment. The church also has something to help distract any children sheltering there.

"We have a few board games. We have a few items the kids can play with here," said Patterson.

As for Moore, she said she'll be in a hole somewhere in her apartment, but she's urging everyone to take their safety seriously.

"Please everyone stay weather aware and don't take severe storms for granted, because it can pop a tornado at any time," said Moore.

In addition to the storm shelter, the church has five classrooms that are underground, which they will open up to the public if needed.

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