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F.I.S.H. plans storm seminar

By Staff | Jun 18, 2019

F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva will hold its second annual Hurricane Preparedness Seminar on June 20 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at The Community House, at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.

Experts will provide information and stress the importance of making an evacuation plan, gathering emergency supplies, creating lists of contacts and medicine, and more. The speakers are: Lance Henninger, Sanibel Emergency Management; Debbie Quimby, Lee County Emergency Management coordinator; and F.I.S.H. Program Director Kathy Y. Monroe.

The seminar is open to the community and will include a question-and-answer session, as well as the opportunity to pick up the F.I.S.H. Hurricane Preparedness Resource Packet.

“We learned so much from our last major storm, Hurricane Irma, and would like to share that with the community,” Monroe said. “We would also like to provide our Hurricane Preparedness Resource Packet, updated annually, to anyone in the community and discuss how F.I.S.H. can help before, during and after a storm through our hurricane program.”

The resource packet provides detailed information on where to go, what to do and how to prepare in the event of an approaching storm. Each year, F.I.S.H. and a team of volunteers verify evacuation routes, flood zones, hotels with generators and more to update the information. In addition to the seminar, the packets may be picked up at F.I.S.H. Walk-In Center or mailed to individual homes by request.

“The safety of our neighbors is of utmost importance,” Monroe 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.”

The F.I.S.H. Hurricane Program is a collaborative effort between the organization, city officials and emergency management teams to assist island neighbors. F.I.S.H. maintains a list of those most vulnerable such as elderly, those with health and medical conditions, and those who are alone.

“The 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 folks at their home, if requested, to discuss plans,” Monroe said. “F.I.S.H. shares 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, staff, committee members and volunteers gather at the Walk-In Center to connect with those on the “Active List,” confirming evacuation plans and making sure supplies are on hand. F.I.S.H. relays the information to out-of-state relatives. Should the islands be evacuated, F.I.S.H. will, to the extent possible, track those on the “Active List” until their return to Sanibel and Captiva.

At 2430-B Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, the center is open Monday to 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 during hurricane season. If you or someone you know would like additional information on the F.I.S.H. Hurricane Program or resource packet, contact Monroe or Anthony Morales at 239-472-4775.