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Policy in Place For Opening Storm Shelter

With the spring storm season seemingly starting earlier than usual this year, and with several deadly tornadoes already reported in Missouri and adjoining states, plans are in place for opening the FEMA storm shelter at Ava High School.

Billy Long, Emergency Management director for Ava and Douglas County, said he and other emergency response personnel met this week with school officials and have set a policy for opening the Ava Performing Arts Center when storms are anticipated.

Long said Douglas County Emergency Management will monitor weather conditions. When weather conditions reach the threshold as stated in the Community Shelter Operations Plan, EMA will contact the Ava Police Department.

The Ava Police Department will supervise the storm shelter (APAC) until an official with the Ava School District is contacted and is available to supervise the building.

Long said as EMA monitors the weather, when a tornado or severe storm is confirmed in the Bradleyville/Brown Branch area, the storm shelter will be opened. That should give local residents around 30 minutes to move to the shelter before the storm reaches the Ava area.

Long said the storm warning siren may not be sounded at that time, but will be activated if/when it is apparent that a severe storm will pass through the Ava area.