Emergency Management hosts ‘Build a Bucket’ event for hurricane preparedness


LIBERTY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Many Panhandle residents weren’t ready for what Hurricane Michael brought back in 2018.

“While we always thought we were pretty prepared for a Michael, we were ready for something like a Cat 3, never a Cat 5,” said emergency management manager Rhonda Lewis.

Now, Liberty County residents are taking precautions to ensure they are prepared for another disaster. One of the ways managers contribute to this is by letting people build a bucket.

“We are here to support emergency management, we are distributing essential items for hurricane preparedness free of charge,” Deputy Chief Dusty Arnold said.

Buckets handed out at Thursday’s event were filled with everything from goggles and masks to soap and combs for use in the event of a hurricane.

Even though Hurricane Michael caused a tragedy, officials now say they know what they need in the event of another storm.

“We know what to expect, things that we hadn’t thought of before, like insect repellent, being a very important thing to have after a hurricane,” said Rachel Bryant of the Department of Health.

“Being able to be at least somewhat prepared, having your bucket full of things you know you’re going to need, is a step in the right direction,” Lewis said.

Law enforcement officials say being prepared helps them help you.

“If they have all the essentials they need they will be better prepared, that way law enforcement won’t necessarily have to respond to their house unless it’s a absolute urgency,” Arnold said.

Being better prepared for a disaster could mean more lives saved. If you missed Thursday’s event, you can still prepare for a hurricane by contacting the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Health Department, or Emergency Management.

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