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Panhandle counties had weak emergency plans when Hurricane Michael struck, study says

Several of Florida's Panhandle communities were not nearly as prepared as other parts of the state for a major emergency.

Counties in the Florida Panhandle were far less prepared for emergency evacuations than the rest of the state before Hurricane Michael made landfall, according to a study published Thursday by researchers at Florida Atlantic University.

Related: Military base in Florida says it took ‘a direct hit’ from Hurricane Michael

Ten of Florida's 67 counties were rated as having weak evacuation preparedness plans, and all of them were in or near the Panhandle. Eleven of 16 counties with only moderately-rated plans were also in that area, the study found.

Only seven Panhandle counties had strong plans, researchers said.

Be Prepared: How to check your hurricane supplies, evacuation zones, insurance and more

The study measured how prepared the counties were to offer special needs services if pick-up locations had been designated, if the plan covered multiple times of hazards, if it included a pet component and if it made evacuation maps available.

The 10 counties ranked as having the weakest plans were Holmes, Gulf, Liberty, Jefferson, Madison, Lafayette, Suwannee, Baker, Union and Bradford.

Below, see how your county performed in the study.

How prepared are Florida's counties for emergency evacuations? by 10News WTSP on Scribd

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