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Perry neighbors prepare for 2024 hurricane season while rebuilding from Idalia

Posted at 6:00 PM, May 29, 2024
  • Neighbors in Taylor County are preparing for the 2024 hurricane season while still rebuilding after Hurricane Idalia's strike in 2023.
  • Area leaders are applying lessons learned from Idalia to help keep the community safe for any future storms.
  • See what they're doing in the video above so you can be prepared.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

Using lessons learned from one storm to get ready for the next. "Now, at least I know: we know how," said John Louk, the Director of Emergency management with the Taylor County Sheriff's Office.

I'm Maya Sargent in Perry.

I'm tracking how Taylor County is preparing now for the 2024 hurricane season after Hurricane Idalia left a historic impact on this community.

It all boils down to planning, preparation. "Have food. Have water. Have a plan. Have generators," Louk added. "Good folks and a good team to support you is monumental."

These factors helped neighbors in Taylor County get through Hurricane Idalia in 2023.

WATCH OUR COVERAGE OF IDALIA'S DAMAGE IN AUGUST OF 2023 BELOW:

A look at the damage Hurricane Idalia did in Perry, Florida

With the help of city, county, state and federal support, Louk says they're focusing on them even more this season. Their plan includes setting up new roles called community coordinators, "that we can communicate with that can tell us specific needs that that community has," Louk said.

As well as creating community emergency plans tailored to each area, "things that people organically did during or after the hurricane," Louk added.

Those preparations are extending to many areas of Taylor County Including Doctors' Memorial Hospital.

"Getting everybody ahead of time is just the biggest thing that I think we can do to prepare," explained Sara Grambling. She and Lauren Faison-Clark tell me they have moved to fiber optic cabling for their Internet connectivity. Their emergency room is also getting a half a million dollar upgrade.

"When there is an emergency, we want people to trust us, and want to know you can get the same quality of care here as you can in bigger communities," Faison-Clark added.

Neighborhood commitment across the county that has these area leaders confident they're ready.

"The magic of rural communities is the way people pull together," Faison-Clark concluded.

Louk tells everyone to have a secondary mode of communication so you can stay in touch with them and your neighbors. He recommends the General Mobile Radio Service. They have several repeaters set up in the county.