After the 2011 tornado in Joplin, it took first responders two days to get everyone out of their storm shelters and basements.
One reason it took so long was the city did not know where exactly people were located. That’s why Ashland Mayor Gene Rhorer decided to start an online registry for the town so that first responders could know ahead of time where to search. It is the first registry in Boone County.
Ashland does not have any public shelters other than schools, so many people have built their own. Rhorer says there has been a significant increase in in-house and backyard storm shelters the last few years.
The new registry allows residents to enter their address, contact number and type of shelter. It is all done through Google Docs and Google Maps so it does not cost taxpayers any money.
Registering is completely voluntary. And the mayor hopes it is successful so other cities will do the same and it becomes standard procedure in Boone County.