Helping Neighbors: F.I.S.H. Hurricane Committee Prepares for Season
Hurricane season is here, and the F.I.S.H. OF SANCAP Hurricane Committee continues to reach out to the community in hopes of identifying those who need information and assistance during the hurricane season. “While we do not evacuate individuals off the island, we do provide a detailed hurricane packet which includes a home visit to each household on our list. There, we review shelter and hotel information, preparation procedures and what to do in the event of an evacuation,” states Sharon Thomas, FISH Hurricane Committee Co-chair. “The hurricane committee is a collaborative effort to ensure, to the extent possible, the safety of our neighbors,” said FISH Director of Operations and Hurricane Committee Co-chair Maggie Goldsmith. “We work very closely with city officials each year to prepare for hurricane season. The service we provide is not only invaluable to our residents, but also to their families.”
The FISH Hurricane committee consists of FISH volunteers who met for a training session earlier this month. Volunteers were assigned households for visitation, grouped by zone. After gathering information from those households, including emergency contacts, evacuation plans and medical needs, FISH will notify the Sanibel Police Department, Sanibel Fire Department, Community Housing Resources, Lee County Emergency Management, Lee County Shelter and Special Needs, and out-of-state family members of islander’s plans. Should a storm approach, committee members will gather at the FISH Walk-In Center to reach out to those on the list and confirm their emergency plans.
This year, the committee started with 38 households on their list, and anticipates more will request a home visit and/or the FISH informational hurricane packet as hurricane season continues. To be included on the FISH Hurricane list, or to obtain additional information about FISH services, contact the Walk-In Center at (239) 472-4775.