Bobby Shiver has been riding out hurricanes since 1939, first at his birthplace in 13 Mile and for his adult years with his family at Ferry Dock Road in Eastpoint.
This year he and his wife Barbara aren’t taking any chances.
A month before Hurricane Michael hit in Oct. 2018, Shiver had open heart surgery and he stuck around, and as it turned out “it wasn’t that bad.”
But such was not the case west of the county.. “In 83 years that’s the worst one I’ve ever seen,” he said.
The Shivers were among the many residents to take part in Franklin County Emergency Management’s newly introduced Build-Your-Bucket event May 21 in Vrooman Park.
And there was some serious bucket-building going on.
Thanks to a $10,000 grant from Duke Energy Foundation, and boatloads of donations from area businesses, those taking part could go to booths lining the park, each offering not only critically important advice on how to prepare for a disaster, but a lot of free supplies.
“Nothing has cost the county anything,” said Jennifer Daniels, deputy director of Franklin County Emergency Management, who organized the event.
The swag circling began with volunteers from emergency management handing people one of the 250 five-gallon Taylors Building Supply plastic pails. They could then fill their bucket with supplies at the different booths.
These were not unnecessary tsotchkes, these items were some serious necessities, things like duct tape, mylar blankets, can openers, ponchos, flashlights and screwdrivers.
Gabbie Cardona, with PetHub, offered what may have been the most unfamiliar items. A digital identification tag can be used to better address lost pets, and cards for crates, windows and wallets provide important information.
The sheriff’s office volunteers offered hot dogs, chips and drinks, and there were cool treats from the ice cream truck.
Everyone also got a raffle ticket, and radios donated by Duke were raffled every hour. The raffle also gave away two portable power stations, and a 3,700-lumen flashlight.