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(5,013 posts)
Tue Oct 4, 2022, 12:46 PM Oct 2022

Observations in surviving Hurricane Ian [View all]

I live in Venice, FL (about 20 miles south of Sarasota and about 60 miles north of Ft Myers).

We got hit by Hurricane Ian and after having no power for 5 days or so and having to decamp for Tampa to stay with family for a couple of days, I would like to make some comments/suggestions:

Improve communication

While we had radio stations broadcasting throughout the storm and recovery, they could not provide super detailed information. They pointed people to the various websites for the power company, local government, their station, the local TV station etc.

There was a slight problem with that: No power? No internet? No cellphone coverage? Prevents you from accessing anything like that.

We were lucky that the emergency alerts came thru but nowhere near real or near real time.

Applications - in emergencies, apps should be trimmed back to text based. Too many apps are graphics heavy and don't work if you don't have enough bandwidth (if you have bandwidth at all).


You don't wait for an evacuation announcement to be made. If you think its going to be bad: go. If you can see the ocean: go. If you feel that you have to stay, be prepared.

Make sure that you have batteries and buy them well in advance. As this was not our 1st hurricane, we buy/upgrade/replace our batteries on a 12 month cycle which starts a month before hurricane season.

Have a couple of those external batteries for cellphones and keep them charged.

If you have a generator (not everyone can afford one but some do), do the same with gasoline. Your car takes it, so does your lawnmower, so keeping 5 or 10 gallons fresh is not a huge burden.

Have a half dozen or so freezer packs. Toss 'em in the freezer if you are covered by the cone. Also have a decent sized cooler. Mine is a 60 quart one and holds 25 pounds of time leaving the top half for food.

Trim back on the food you have that requires cooling. We screwed up this year and had too much and lost $500+ or so in freezer/fridge contents.

Have a grill and the necessary fuel to make it go (we have 2 big bags of charcoal at all times).


Know your neighbors. Especially the older ones. They may have health issues and may need help. (Foe example, my new neighbors next door: she has diabetes and her insulin needs to be kept cool. We made room in our cooler for it and then made friends with our neighbor a few doors down who had a generator when we went to family).

While we did lose quite a bit of food, we cooked up quite a bit and shared with our neighbors who did not think that far out.

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