Walton County preparing residents for future hurricanes

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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - While Hurricane Michael didn't bring its full force to Walton County, Emergency Management officials are still making sure residents know what to do when the lightning strikes and the winds blow.

Jeff Goldberg, the Director on Walton County Emergency Management, speaks to residents about how to be prepared for future hurricanes. (WJHG/WECP)

"There's just been a lot of misconceptions about how we do our evacuations so that's one of the main things that we're going to be discussing," said Walton County Emergency Management Director Jeff Goldberg.

Goldberg says he hopes hurricane preparedness meetings, like the one Monday, clear the air on some topics.

"People used to equate evacuation zones with storm category. So for a tropical storm or a category one storm, it was Evacuation Zone A or a category two is Evacuation Zone B, and that's not how it is," said Goldberg.

Goldberg says the evacuation plans are actually based on water levels.

"We base our evacuations on surge, so for so many feet of projected surge, that's the evacuation zone that we're gonna go ahead and evacuate," he said. "Know what your zone is. Do you live in an evacuation zone? If so, what level zone is it? Where are you going to go when you have to evacuate?'

And stay informed. Residents of Walton County can sign up for a free service called Alert Walton. It will give you the latest updates from the EOC and messages can be delivered right to your phone.

"We want folks to get registered for that system and opt into it," said Goldberg.

But EOC officials also want to make sure you know it's here for more than just hurricanes.

"Like transportation incidents, hazardous materials incidents, things like that," said Goldberg.

Officials say they're always ready for the next circumstance.

"For us, preparedness, response, recovery, mitigation, it's a year-round process," said Goldberg.

Emergency officials say they will host another meeting in Freeport on Thursday, June 13 in the Freeport Business Park Board Room. The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m.

To sign up for Alert Walton, click here.

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