FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Hurricane Sally was a sign to the City of Fairhope to look into building a safer place for all first responders to go during a hurricane. On Sept. 12, the city voted to apply for funding for a safe room and FEMA agreed to help pay for it. The safe room is expected to have lots of accommodations for first responders.
City of Fairhope Mayor, Sherry Sullivan said this will accommodate the needs of first responders.
“A safe room would have a kitchen, it would have places for them to sleep if they needed a to, it would have showers, a generator, so it gives our employees a safe place in the event of a storm,” said Sullivan.
The safe room will be built in the heart of Fairhope on Pecan Avenue, which makes it convenient when first responders need to act in a storm. Shane Nolte with Fairhope Police Department said the location could not be any more convenient.
“Having those city crews, that cut the trees, get the power back on and all of that, to be right here where we can get them out quicker is going to be huge,” said Nolte.
The project is $2.4 million and the City of Fairhope will only have to pay $130,000 while FEMA will cover the rest and this safe room means a lot to city leaders and workers.
“Not all of our employees are able to live in Fairhope and a lot of them live on the outskirts or live in other parts of Baldwin County, so to be able to house them right here in a safe area, is very important to us,” said Sullivan.
The safe room will begin construction this time next year and will be built with concrete walls and a fortified roof to withstand 200-mile-per-hour winds as well as house over 100 first responders during any kind of threat.