Calhoun County Shelters

Most people inland don't worry about things like storm surge, but Ivan proved no one is safe. Four people died in Calhoun County when Ivan's tornadoes ripped through the region.

Although Calhoun County does not have any certified shelters, emergency officials are still encouraging people in mobile homes to evacuate.

Hurricane season of 2004 saw four fatalities in Calhoun County as tornadoes spawned by Hurricane Ivan ripped it way through this rural landscape, but as hurricane season 2005 approaches, Emergency Management’s Sonny O'Bryan says though the county has no certified shelters, provisions have been made to give citizens an alternative to their mobile homes.

Sonny says, "The library, old library, the senior citizen shelter, the Blountstown High School and the ag building, keep in mind that Calhoun County has no approved risk American Red Cross shelters."

O'Bryan says that last year they were just prepared for a hurricane when he called a voluntary evacuation, but no one in the county was prepared for what the storm brought with it.

"There was nobody caught of guard because of Ivan. They knew Ivan was coming. What they got caught of guard about was the spin off of those tornadoes.”

Ivan's tornadoes took out the mobile home that sat in one field. The people that lived here did not make it out alive. O'Bryan is hoping that this year citizens make sound judgments when an evacuation is called.

"If you want to wait until the last moment, then you’re taking some risk on yourself. Same token, when you buy a mobile home, especially one that's not a new one, an old, and you place it on a lot and you don't properly tie it down, you're taking a risk.”

Nearly 50 percent of the residents in Calhoun County live in mobile homes.


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