Florida prepares for Hurricane Season while still recovering from Ian

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Hurricane Season begins June 1, but this season feels different than 2022, and Senator Rick Scott was in Fort Myers going over hurricane preparedness.

Senator Scott urges people to ensure they have everything they need for the upcoming season. He’s also urging people to come up with an evacuation plan. Many in Southwest Florida are still trying to fix their homes from Hurricane Ian’s damage. Many also worry their homes won’t be as prepared as they should be to withstand another storm.

“Very stressed, a lot of sleepless nights,” Amy Alvarez-Betz, a Lee County resident, said.

Preparing for the upcoming Hurricane Season while you’re still recovering from Hurricane Ian is a challenge.

“The roof in the back for the lanai is still ripped off. If we got a strong gust of wind, it would probably come off,” Jeff Betz said.

That’s Jeff and Amy’s reality, like many others in Southwest Florida. They’re in the process of raising their home, fixing their roof, and making other repairs.

“We stayed for Ian. We’re definitely leaving this time… won’t do that again,” Jeff said.

They rode out Ian while six feet of water flooded their home. Their preparations for the upcoming Hurricane Season include plans to evacuate.

“If we hear there’s a hurricane, we don’t care the size of it; we’re leaving,” Amy said.

Senator Scott echoed similar sentiments during his press conference.

“I think you have to talk about evacuation early because the other thing you have to realize: you can’t evacuate at the last minute. We only have one highway, 75. So, it depends on how far you have to get away from here, alright, and if you’re going to find a place to stay, so you got to think about this early,” Senator Scott said.

Others at the press conference wanted to remind people of the lessons they learned from Hurricane Ian.

“Once they told us it was hitting here, it was too late to go anywhere. Hotels were booked, and it was tough to even get out,” Jeff said.

“We did sit here discussing with the neighbors whether or not, you know, we were going to stay. And I think this time around. We’ll probably be more making sure we’re convincing everyone to go,” Amy said.

WINK News asked Senator Scott what advice he has for homes still damaged. Senator Scott said people can reach out for help from FEMA or a small business loan. He’s also urging people with insurance issues to reach out to the state.

If you’re having trouble finding the right person to contact for help, Senator Scott said you can reach out to his office.

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