LIBERTY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — When Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle more than four years ago, many residents ignored the warnings and stayed home.

However, after that experience, most people now say they’re better prepared. This was evident in Liberty County Thursday when an afternoon tornado popped up.

Everyone from county leaders to school children took the severe weather seriously.

“Coming off the tails of Hurricane Michael, people, we don’t play with storms anymore,” said Liberty County Commission Chair Hannah Causseaux.

She stated that lives were saved because residents were prepared.

“You know, if we hear that we need to shelter in place, we’re going to do that because we’re not going to find ourselves in another situation like that,” Causseaux explained.

When the tornado came barreling through the community of Hosford Thursday afternoon, trees came down and houses were destroyed. However, there was no loss of life and no injuries reported.

Almost immediately, residents and county crews got to work.

“We have had church groups, we’ve had first responders. We’ve had law enforcement from surrounding counties, all of our linemen, all these relief organizations,” Causseaux said.

Causseaux added that this community effort made a huge difference, and roads are back open.

“They’re not all completely clear, but they are open. About 90% of the county has been restored with power.”

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service Office in Tallahassee were also on the ground Friday.

“We’re seeing a lot of tree damage, a lot of snapped trees, a lot of uprooted trees. We’re also seeing some structural damage as well,” said Felicia Bowser, the NWS meteorologist in charge.

Bowser stated that while they’re still assessing the damage and scale of Thursday’s tornado, they want residents to know that this could happen again. She said they shouldn’t let their guard down.

“It’s really important to have multiple tools to get that information, such as your smartphone, television, of course, your computer,” Bowser said. “So we tell people, make sure your stuff is charged up, your phones and whatnot.”

In the meantime, Hosford residents with tornado damage can contact the local emergency management agency.

The National Weather Service’s preliminary report shows winds of at least 125 miles per hour, making it at least an EF-2 tornado.