CABOT, Ark. — Communities all across Arkansas were doing what they can to give people safe options during the severe weather.
“We watch the weather every day,” Cabot Parks and Recreation director Travis Young. “Matter of fact we had staff talking to the National Weather Service about storms coming in last night as well. “
On the backside of the Cabot Community Center is their EF-5 Tornado Shelter that can hold up to 250 people. The safe room was implemented back in 2016. The idea came after an EF-4 tornado hit Vilonia killing multiple people.
The main goal is to stay safe, no matter how many people need it.
“We’ll never turn somebody away at the door,” Young said. “We’ll pack in like, pardon the phrase, sardines in a can. If it can save somebody’s life, we want them to feel comfortable and come here.”
The shelter was put to good use this week after severe weather hit Cabot hard Monday night.
“We had a full house Monday night,” Young added. “Probably our largest crowd we’ve had to date. Over the years we’ve seen those numbers grow. Now we’re weather warned way in advance more than we ever were.”
With everyone being more weather aware, it makes more room for outside help in case its needed.
“Monday night for instance, I heard from the police and fire chief. They both reached out. ‘Hey, wanted to see if you needed anything at the storm shelter, can we help in any way?'”
However, the tornado shelter is not open 24/7. The safe room will open up whenever there is a tornado warning in Lonoke county. If you want access to the safe room you cannot bring any pets unless it’s a service animal and there is no food or drink allowed.