Officials are prepared to open more hurricane shelters in Mobile County this year because of concerns that high gas prices could keep people from evacuating further inland.
Mobile County Emergency Management Agency Director Walt Dickerson said the county’s shelter plan will allow for opening as many as 26 shelters if needed, seven more than last year.
Baldwin County will also increase its shelter capacity, adding the Baldwin County Cattle and Fair Association’s new Robertsdale coliseum just east of the city’s high school.
The coliseum is built to withstand 200 mph winds and can hold about 2,000 people in a hurricane, said Baldwin emergency director Leigh Anne Ryals.
Having the coliseum is like having two or three normal shelters, she said, and that may bring peace of mind to people concerned that they can’t afford to drive far.
This is something all hurricane prone areas need to consider….high gas prices will make fewer people evacuate. Good plan.