F.I.S.H. Program Spotlight: Hurricane Preparedness

Each year, F.I.S.H. OF SANCAP works with the City of Sanibel, Lee County Emergency Management, local hotels and others to plan for hurricane season.  From that collaboration, FISH develops their Hurricane Resource Packet which provides detailed information on where to go, what to do, and how to prepare in the event of an approaching storm.  The packet is available to anyone who requests it. 

FISH and their team of volunteers verify evacuation routes, flood zones, hotels with generators, shelters, pet accommodations, etc. in order to update the packet annually.  “The safety of our neighbors is of utmost importance.  We want to make sure everyone has reliable information on hand in case a storm approaches,” says Susan Alexander, Senior Services and Community Engagement Director.

Due to shifting travel schedules of seasonal residents, last year many  islanders stayed on the islands for, sometimes, their first-ever hurricane season. To help them prepare for hurricane season, FISH is offering  a packet of vital information and checklists. FISH volunteers also work with the most vulnerable residents, in collaboration with other stakeholders like the City of Sanibel, to ensure their annual emergency evacuation plan is up to date so that the FISH Hurricane Committee and keep in touch with them before, during, and after  storms. In 2020, FISH experienced a 34% increase in Hurricane information packet distribution and the organization expects distribution to increase once again for the 2021 hurricane season.

FISH stresses the importance of making an evacuation plan, gathering emergency supplies, creating lists of contacts and medicine, and other helpful details listed in the packet. . Like last year, it is extremely important to frequently check in with local officials or FISH to ensure the most up to date information is on hand, as things may change due to COVID-19. To receive a Hurricane Resource Packet, please contact the FISH Walk-In Center at 239-472-4775 or email manuela@fishofsancap.org.  Packets may also be downloaded from the organization’s website, www.fishofsancap.org.  Phone calls may be arranged for those who would like more detailed discussion on how to prepare during hurricane season.