Kokomo opens up fire stations as tornado shelters

KOKOMO, Ind. - Mobile home residents in Kokomo now have someplace to seek temporary shelter from tornados and other severe weather.

Fire Chief Pat O'Neill tells the Kokomo Tribune  for a Monday story that the city will open all six of its stations as tornado shelters to anyone who resides in one of the central Indiana city's mobile home parks.

O'Neill says officials made the decision after mobile home residents expressed concern for their safety.

He says mobile home residents need alternative shelter, because their homes are among the most vulnerable structures during tornados.

"You never know what’s gonna happen. The course can change at any time and if you don’t have safety, you can get injured very easy. Like I said, it’s nice to know the community’s doing something and we have safety now because with tornado season and the weather right now, it’s like you never know when it can happen," mobile-home resident Brian Heath said.

The fire stations will open their doors to mobile home residents during tornado warnings or watches, but the stations won't serve as long-term shelters.

City Hall is also available as a temporary shelter during severe weather.

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