Keeping Citizens Safe During Storms

By REBECCA HAZEN
News Editor

Dade County Director of Emergency Services, Alex Case, spoke about the different ways that the county is keeping its citizens safe and informed in the event of inclement weather, during the weekly county update on Thursday, April 29.

The county is in the process of getting three storm shelters, purchased through hazard mitigation grants, totaling $1.3 million. These shelters are pre-cast buildings that will hold 265 people each. The shelters will be located at the Larry Moore Park at Dade County Sports Complex, South Dade Community Center, and Davis School Road.

“One of the buildings is nearly complete. They are looking to deliver it between the middle and the end of next month,” Case said.

The first completed building will be at the Larry Moore Park. The goal is to have the shelters finished by August or September.

Case said that the shelters can be multi-use, for example, as a vaccination center, or as a warming or cooling shelter.

There is also the HUB network, consisting of volunteers from various churches, who will stand ready to help. Pastor Mike King and Pastor Reece Fauscett are the leaders of the HUB.

Case also spoke about the virtual Skywarn Storm Spotter class that was held on April 22.

“Every few years Walker and Dade County team up to hold this,” Case explained. “Part of the emergency management of each county is becoming storm ready. There are a lot of things that go into that.”

Case noted that there were a lot of comments and questions for the presenter, and the meeting was very interactive.

“Those storm spotters are very important because they give information to the National Weather Service,” Case said. “This helps the meteorologists determine how to give watches and warnings.”

Case also encouraged citizens to sign up for Reach Dade with Hyper-Reach. It is an opt-in service where people can be notified by cell, text, landline or email for severe thunderstorm warnings, tornado warnings and flood warnings. To sign up, go to dadecounty-ga.gov, then click on “Services” and then “Emergency Notifications.”

The county has three outdoor warning sirens, acquired through hazard mitigation grants. The first one is near the administration building. The other two are located at the Dade County Sports Complex, and Davis School Road.

If anyone has questions, call the county 911 center’s non-emergency line at (706) 657-4111.

Also during the weekly county update, County Executive Ted Rumley updated the community on County Road 6, which is currently in the process of being paved.

“We have to work with the striping crew to get striping down before we actually do open it up, but we are so close to getting it open now,” Rumley said.

A dedication for the new Blessing Box, sponsored by Alliance for Dade, will be Saturday, May 8 at 10 a.m. The Blessing Box will be dedicated to Allan Bradford. The Blessing Box was recently installed on Lookout Mountain at Highway 136 and Sunset Drive.

According to Rumley, an appointment is no longer needed to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the Dade County Health Department. Appointments are also not needed at the vaccination center at the Colonnade in Ringgold.

Dade County has seen 17 cases in the past two weeks, for a total of 1,210 COVID-19 cases. The number of cases can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.

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