Coffee County Emergency Management Agency Launches Shelter Program with Local Churches

Church shelters gathered at the Emergency Operations Center in Coffee County for training and to receive their shelter kits. Each kit contains items for passing time, flashlights, weather radios and radio communication equipment. Photo provided.

The Coffee County Emergency Management Agency has received numerous calls in the last year regarding citizens looking for somewhere to take shelter during severe weather such as tornados. Typically, the request was residents not feeling comfortable in their own dwelling during these times. Therefore, over the last 6 months their agency has been working with local churches throughout the county on a solution. The churches they have spoken with so far have come on board, received training and are ready to open their doors to shelter seekers during these times of need. These shelters are intended to be opened in a timely manner prior to a tornado warning and close when the threat passes. CCEMA personnel work very closely with the National Weather Service as well as utilize in house radar and lightning detections systems to make a determination on opening a shelter.
Each Church in the program will be in contact with Emergency Management when severe weather is expected. If the decision is made to open, a notice of which shelters are open will be sent out to the public in various media formats to include Radio stations, Text Message Alerts and Social Media.
Residents of Coffee County are encouraged to make a plan for severe weather. Many guides can be found online or on their Facebook page to help you with this process. You can also go to for information on preparedness. Please like and follow CCEMA on Facebook for alerts and information at
To receive text alerts, sign up at:
If your church would like to get involved give call (931) 570-2282 or email

The Current List of Church Shelters is as follows:
1. Hillsboro First United Methodist
305 Winchester Hwy, Hillsboro, TN 37342
2. Summitville Baptist Church
488 Summitville Rd., Manchester, TN 37355
3. Lakewood Baptist Church
619 Ferrells Loop Rd., Beechgrove, TN 37018
4. Forest Mill Church of Christ
3388 McMinnville Hwy., Manchester, TN 37355
5. St. Bedes Episcopal
93 St. Bedes Dr., Manchester, TN 37355