Stony Lonesome Gets New Community Safe Room Storm Shelter

by | Jul 28, 2017 | County News, Cullman, Extreme Weather, Weather

At this week’s regularly scheduled meeting of the Cullman County Commission, Associate Commissioners Garry Marchman And Kerry Watson voted to approved an agenda item that will bring a modern, 187 person capacity Community Safe Room & Storm Shelter to the Bremen community.

The Commissioner’s vote authorizes Chairman Kenneth Walker to sign a Sub-recipient Disaster Assistance Agreement with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to bring this new facility onto the campus of one of Cullman County’s premier parks: Stony Lonesome OHV Park.

The cost of the new facility is $170,000. $127,500 of this amount will be paid by a Federal FEMA grant, and $42,500 in kind contribution from the Cullman County Commission authorizing County employees to much off the actual construction work. This will reduce the actual cash outlay by at least 50%.

Every year, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme windstorms cause numerous fatalities and injuries, and cost millions of dollars worth of property damage throughout the United States. Most businesses and public buildings, even new ones constructed according to current building codes, do not provide adequate protection for occupants seeking refuge from these events.

A community safe room can provide near-absolute protection for many community members, when it is constructed in accordance with FEMA criteria. A growing number of these safe rooms have saved lives in actual events.

What is a Safe Room?

A safe room is a room or structure specifically designed and constructed to resist wind pressures and wind-borne debris impacts during an extreme-wind event, like tornadoes and hurricanes, for the purpose of providing life-safety protection.

The criteria for a community safe room is contained in FEMA P-361, Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms (2015).

Cullman County Parks and Recreation Director Doug Davenport welcomes such a structure into Stony Lonesome:

“Myself and Stony Lonesome Manager Tyler Lindsey have discussed and planned for a Storm Shelter at Stony for over 2 years. On the weekends, the park has a population larger than most towns in Cullman County.

With frequency of severe thunderstorms in our area, we felt it was imperative to provide Community Safe Room for our guests at the park. We are very grateful that this process of long-term planning will finally come into physical realty.

On behalf of Stony Lonesome and it’s thousands of guests, I want to thank the Cullman County Commission for pushing this initiative through. The storm shelter will be a very welcome addition out at Stony!”

Stony Lonesome OHV Park
images by Cullman Today & FEMA
Stony Lonesome Gets New Community Safe Room Storm Shelter

Timothy Collins

Originally from Asheville, NC, Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com and/or (256) 615-8260.