Hurricane Charley survivor pays it forward as TD Fred looms

Reporter: Erika Jackson Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

The Weather Authority is closely tracking Tropical Depression Fred. For now, it isn’t set to hit us directly but many om Southwest Florida can shift at the last minute.

A woman who went through Hurricane Charley and knows that storms can turn at the last minute, is repaying the generosity she received during that time.

Janet Maclean spends every Friday volunteering at the Bountiful Blessings Food Pantry. “I try to pay forward and help other people. I want to make a difference in other people’s lives,” Maclean said.

Her family relied on pantries like this one over 17 years ago when Hurricane Charley destroyed the family’s home. It left them without a roof, water or food.

“I was shocked watching the roof of my house go. Then all of a sudden, all you could see was white, and debris in the air,” she said. ” It really caught us off guard because hurricanes go to everyone else. It never hits you. We now take it serious.”

That was on Friday, August 13, 2004. And, on this Friday the 13th, Charlotte County is already bracing for another storm bracing for yet another tropical system offshore. Charley taught everyone that last-minute shifts in storms are possible.

Patrick Fuller is the Charlotte County Director of Emergency Management and he’s making sure that the proper equipment is in place, just in case. “It’s important to keep your guard up throughout hurricane season,” said Fuller.

“Any weather during hurricane season could pose some threats, whether that’s heavy rainfall, strong wind, storm surge,” Fuller said.

Maclean says she’s making last-minute preparations at home and in the pantry as well. “Are we prepared? Yes,” she said.

Punta Gorda has sandbags available for residents. You can find them next to the “Hounds on Hendry” Dog Park.

Bountiful Blessings of Charlotte County is ready to feed those who may need access to food once the storm passes. To set up a food delivery or for more information, you can call Carmen Aguiles at 941-883-8439.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.