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F.I.S.H. of San-Cap to host first-ever hurricane preparedness seminar

By Staff | May 30, 2018

F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva will facilitate a seminar, “Hurricane Preparedness – Are You Ready,” on June 21 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at The Community House on Sanibel.

A first for the organization, it is open to the community and will include several speakers.

“We learned a lot from Hurricane Irma and would like to share that with the community,” President Maggi Feiner said. “We would also like to speak toward our Hurricane Preparedness Program and what we can do to help before, during and after a storm.”

The Hurricane Preparedness Program provides a resource packet of information on where to go, what to do and how to prepare in the event of an approaching storm. A collaborative effort between F.I.S.H., city officials and emergency management teams, it aims to assist with the safety of islanders.

Each year, F.I.S.H. and a team of volunteers verify evacuation routes, flood zones and hotels with generators to update the resource packet. Packets are available to anyone who would like one and may be picked up at the Walk-In Center, at 2430 Periwinkle Way, Suite B, Sanibel, or mailed to a home.

“Of utmost importance, is the safety of our neighbors,” Committee Chair Sharon Thomas said. “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.”

Program Director Kathy Monroe noted that F.I.S.H. maintains a list of those most vulnerable, such as the elderly, those with health and medical conditions, and those who are alone.

“This list, our active list, 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,” she said. “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.”

When a storm is approaching, committee members gather at Walk-In Center to reach out to those on the list to confirm their emergency plans and make sure they are safe. F.I.S.H. relays the information to out-of-state relatives. In the case that the islands are evacuated, F.I.S.H. will keep track of those on the list to the best extent possible until their return to Sanibel or Captiva.

The Walk-In Center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Home visits may be arranged for those who would like more detailed discussion on how to prepare for a storm.

For more information, contact Monroe at 239-472-4775.