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Hurricane committee tackles complacency on Captiva

By Staff | Apr 8, 2010

The Captiva Hurricane Preparation and Response Committee met last Friday to discuss plans for a massive community mailing containing information about hurricane preparation, including the importance of homeowner’s letters.

Property owners are asked to fill out a homeowner’s letter before hurricane season begins and fax the completed form to the Captiva Island Fire Control District.

People designated and authorized by the homeowner’s letter will then be permitted to re-enter Captiva directly after a storm to check the homeowners’ properties. Unless the person trying to enter the island has been properly authorized, they will not be permitted back on the island.

Committee member Doris Holzheimer mentioned that many Captiva property owners seem to think that they don’t need to send in their homeowner’s letters.

“They all think it’s going to be someone they know letting people back on the island after an evacuation. There’s no way to know that,” Holzheimer said.

Committee member Steve Pasquale commented that last year, it was officers from the Clay County Sheriff’s Department – not Lee County – operating passage back onto the island after Hurricane Charley and that homeowner’s letters are essential for re-entry onto Captiva after a storm.

“People have become complacent, and they all say that it’s not a big deal, but it is,” said Lt. Joe Poppalardo.

To combat complacency, Poppalardo and Jay Halverson of the CIFCD authored a special letter to accompany a large-scale mailing – which will also include storm preparation tips – to all Captiva property owners.

The committee also discussed the upcoming training session for the structural safety inspection (SSI) team, to be held on the morning of Tuesday, April 27 at South Seas Island Resort.

People that are interested in volunteering for SSI, whether as part of the inspection crew or other ways, should contact the Captiva Island Fire Control District, 472-9494, or the SSI team leader, Ken Suarez, ken@kensuarez.com, and committee member Doris Holzheimer, dholzheimer@earthlink.net.

For more information about storm preparation and to obtain a copy of the homeowner’s letter, go to www.MyCaptiva.info.