Helping Neighbors: F.I.S.H. Program Spotlight: Hurricane Preparedness
Hurricane Season. It’s hard to believe it’s here again and, on the heels of Irma, should not be taken lightly. Everyone should prepare annually by making an evacuation plan, gathering emergency supplies, creating lists of contacts and medicine, and more. New this year, F.I.S.H. will be facilitating a seminar, ‘Hurricane Preparedness – Are You Ready’, scheduled for Thursday, June 21 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at the Sanibel Community House. This seminar is open to the community and will include several speakers discussing the importance of hurricane preparedness. “We learned a lot from Hurricane Irma and would like to share that with the community. We would also like to speak toward our Hurricane Preparedness Program and what we can do to help before, during and after a storm,” states Maggi Feiner, President & CEO of F.I.S.H,
The F.I.S.H. Hurricane Preparedness Program provides a detailed resource packet full of information on where to go, what to do, and how to prepare, in the event of an approaching storm. The program is a collaborative effort between F.I.S.H., City officials and emergency management teams to assist with the safety of our neighbors. Each year, F.I.S.H. and a team of volunteers verify evacuation routes, flood zones and hotels with generators to update their resource packet. Packets are available to anyone who would like one, and may be picked up at the Walk-In Center or mailed to your home.
“Of utmost importance, is the safety of our neighbors. We want to make sure everyone has reliable information on hand in case we get a storm. Just knowing what to pack and where to go can help alleviate stress and confusion during an emergency situation.” states Committee Chair Sharon Thomas.
Program Director Kathy Y. Monroe notes that F.I.S.H. maintains a list of those most vulnerable such as our elderly, those with health and medical conditions, and those who are alone. “This list, our active list”, continues Monroe, “contains detailed information about health conditions, out-of-state contacts, and the individual’s emergency plan. Our volunteers can visit with these folks at their home, if requested, to discuss plans. We share information gathered, with the individual’s consent, with officials and out-of-state family members should a storm become a concern for our area.”
The F.I.S.H. Hurricane Preparedness Program is not only valuable to our residents, but also to their families. When a storm is approaching, committee members gather at the F.I.S.H. Walk-In Center to reach out to those on the ‘Active List’, confirm their emergency plans and to make sure they are safe. F.I.S.H. relays this information to out-of-state relatives, giving them peace of mind that their loved ones are prepared. Should the islands be evacuated, F.I.S.H. will, to the extent possible, keep track of those on their ‘Active List’ until their return to Sanibel and Captiva.
F.I.S.H. Hurricane Resource Packets are available at the Walk-In Center, 2430-B Periwinkle Way, Mon.-Fri. from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Home visits may be arranged for those who would like more detailed discussion on how to prepare. If you, or someone you know, would like additional information on the F.I.S.H. Hurricane Preparedness Program, contact Kathy Y. Monroe at (239) 472-4775.