Miami Civic Center Not a FEMA Certified Shelter

Published 09/02 2014 07:02PM

Updated 09/02 2014 07:47PM

MIAMI, OK.--- More than 30 people were trying to take shelter inside The Miami Civic Center last night after hearing the storm sirens go off. The Miami Emergency Management Department is stressing to the community that the civic center is not a FEMA certified shelter and is unsafe during the event of severe weather. 

"My concern is, I do not want people to get hurt. That is not our, the cities intention, we want people to be safe," said Glenda Longan, Miami Emergency Management Director.

Although the civic center may seem like a safe facility, the structure of the building is not sturdy enough to protect the public. 

"It is not safe because there are too many windows and open spaces and, doorways that could allow in debri that could kill someone," said Longan. 

City officals would be unable to monitor a large group of people in a short amount of time, knowing that everyone is under contorl. The police department is normally out on call during severe weather and would be unable to make it to a public shelter gathering. 

"We're extremely busy. Last night we recieved calls from Quapaw, and Commerce, and North Miami and Wyandotte and Afton. And so our resources are stretched fairly thin, in terms of just answering calls for service," said George Haralson, Miami Chief of Police.

The department advises miami residents to know where to seek shelter before a storm occurs. Knowing where to go during severe weather ahead of time can increase public safety. 

"We're going to have bad weather, severe weather. And people need to be prepared to know how to take shelter and where to go and how to protect themselves and their family," said Haralson.  

The Miami Emergency Management Department also advises residents to make a kit that includes a flash light, rain gear, snacks and any other necessities that would be needed when taking shelter. 

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