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Green Country Cities Map Storm Shelters To Help Rescuers Find You Faster

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David Vance had his family's underground shelter installed 11 years ago, but it wasn't until this week that he registered their shelter with Sapulpa's fire department. David Vance had his family's underground shelter installed 11 years ago, but it wasn't until this week that he registered their shelter with Sapulpa's fire department.
Shelters and safe rooms can undoubtedly save your life, but they can also be buried in rubble, which is why some local cities are taking a proactive approach to make sure emergency responders can find you. Shelters and safe rooms can undoubtedly save your life, but they can also be buried in rubble, which is why some local cities are taking a proactive approach to make sure emergency responders can find you.
SAPULPA, Oklahoma -

There's a chance some of us will have to take cover from the storms in the coming days, and the sale of safe rooms and storm shelters has skyrocketed recently.

Shelters and safe rooms can undoubtedly save your life, but they can also be buried in rubble, which is why some local cities are taking a proactive approach to make sure emergency responders can find you quickly, should a storm tear through town.

Living in Sapulpa, David Vance and his wife know the severe weather drill as well as anyone.

"We've had several close ones. Sirens have gone off two or three times a year since we've been here, but none have come in our area," Vance said.

5/28/2013 Related Story: Storm Shelters Of All Types Performed Well In Moore Tornado

The Vances had their underground shelter installed 11 years ago, but it wasn't until this week that they registered their shelter with Sapulpa's fire department.

It's part of a new system that tracks addresses and locations of storm shelters, cellars, safe rooms and basements.

"It sounded like a good idea, at least somebody would know that we were here, and maybe they could get the house off of the top of it, if it ever came down on it," Vance said.

Sapulpa Fire Marshal Chad Tanner created the program, which he says will save firefighters precious time in the wake of a disaster. As we saw in Moore, these storm shelters can sometimes become covered in piles and piles of debris. Tanner said he's been working on the database for several months, but decided to launch it this week after talking with a fire investigator in Moore.

"He said, 'You know, the streets are covered, the streets signs are gone, it's hard to determine which address you're sitting in front of,'" Tanner said.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

Tanner will tag every home that registers with GPS coordinates, and every fire engine will have digital access to the list at all times.

"I had a lady say, 'Promise me you're coming, if something like this happens,'" Tanner said. "I said 'Absolutely, we're coming. We have your information, we're gonna go right down the list, and we're gonna check every house that we take.'"It's free to register your storm shelter. All you have to do in Sapulpa is call the Sapulpa Fire Department.

Several cities in the area, including Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, Jenks, and Tulsa also have similar systems in place. All of these cities say the information will only be used in rescue situations.

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