Annual Build Your Bucket Disaster Preparedness Event Goes Virtual

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 | 

Annual Build Your Bucket Disaster Preparedness Event Goes Virtual

County Takes Build Your Bucket Online to Keep Community Safe and Resilient

In less than a month, three named storms have brought impacts to the United States, with Tropical Storm Cristobal bringing heavy rain to communities along the Gulf Coast, including Leon County. While Leon County continues to stay focused on responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, officials encouraged everyone to be prepared for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. Since 2015, one successful way for the community to learn about disaster preparedness has been the Build Your Bucket event, which has brought thousands together to learn from dozens of nonprofits. This year, due to the ongoing public health emergency, Build Your Bucket will now be hosted virtually at .

“Build Your Bucket has become our community’s largest and most successful disaster resilience event, and while taking it virtual just won’t be the same, the resources are now more important ever,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Bryan Desloge. “At the County, we continue to stay focused on connecting citizens with disaster preparedness information and organizations on the frontlines.”

As part of this year’s 2020 hurricane season preparedness efforts, Leon County and the City of Tallahassee coordinated the delivery of 200 disaster buckets with critical starter supplies to clients in need from Elder Care Services and Ability 1st. Each nonprofit organization serves populations considered vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age or underlying medical conditions. Supplies for the buckets were provided by Leon County Government and the City of Tallahassee, with additional support provided by the American Red Cross and the AARP.

“With experts predicting another active hurricane season, I am proud of how our County teams continue to find ways to innovatively engage our community in disaster resilience while protecting public health,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “As we respond to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s now more important than ever that everyone have a plan and stay informed throughout hurricane season.”

The virtual Build Your Bucket experience features:

  • Ways to learn about disaster preparedness from County departments, state agencies and community nonprofits who respond to disasters.
  • Disaster preparedness resources including guidance on how to build a “bucket list” of critical disaster items like nonperishable food, medications, important documents, face masks, hand sanitizer, soap and more.
  • Downloadable and printable version of the 2020 Leon County Disaster Survival Guide.
  • Tips and tricks to stay safe from Billy The Bucket, Leon County’s hurricane preparedness mascot.
  • Information on how to stay connected and informed with the latest emergency information throughout hurricane season.

“In Leon County, we are fortunate to have a community filled with neighborhood leaders, community partners, local officials, and so many others, who work together to remain ready and resilient,” said Leon County Emergency Management Director Kevin Peters. “All of us need to be prepared and have a plan for the upcoming hurricane season.”

In preparation for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Leon County also distributed the County’s 2020 Disaster Survival Guide on May 31. Printed copies of the guide are also available at local hardware stores, COVID-19 testing sites, and County and City facilities. An online version can be found at and

“As a provider of vital services, we have adapted our operations to ensure that the seniors we serve receive the supplies and care they require to remain healthy,” said Elder Care Services President Jocelyne Fliger. “The disaster buckets we received enhance our efforts to prepare and protect our seniors for hurricane season.”

“The Ability 1st  staff has continued to offer vital services to our consumers throughout the past few months of unprecedented uncertainty,” said Ability 1st  Executive Director Dan Moore. “We thank Leon County for their support as we continue to serve those in our community living with disabilities.”

As part of the 2020 hurricane season, the County also debuted its hurricane preparedness mascot, Billy the Bucket, to help educate and inform families on critical disaster prep topics. Follow Billy on his journey to preparedness this hurricane season on Twitter at @RealBillyBucket. Be sure to share your plan for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season with #BuildYourBucket on social media to show @RealBillyBucket how his fellow Bucketheads prepare for disasters.

For more information, please contact Mathieu Cavell, Leon County Community and Media Relations, at (850) 606-5300 /



In 2018, Leon County was designated the first #HurricaneStrong community in the nation by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. #HurricaneStrong is a national hurricane resilience initiative to save lives and homes through collaboration with leading organizations in the disaster safety movement. With this designation, Leon County became the nationwide prototype for disaster resilience. More HERE.

Follow Billy the Bucket on Twitter

Download the 2020 Disaster Survival Guide