Florida residents make evacuation plan for upcoming hurricane season

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

Officials and people want to make sure they have an evacuation plan if anything like Hurricane Ian ever happens again.

Suzanne and Norman MaGill’s home has been a FEMA trailer ever since Ian destroyed their home. All they have now is an empty lot.

“No matter how prepared you are, it doesn’t really matter once Mother Nature takes a shot at you. You’re done, and we’re really lucky,” Suzanne said.

WINK News walked through the MaGills roofless home back in October 2022. They shared their story of survival hiding under a mattress for five hours.

“It’s so dark and all you can see is this glow because that’s all the light there was,” Suzanne said.

Many people who rode out Hurricane Ian have similar survival stories because they decided to stay instead of evacuate.

A recent AAA study shows one in four Floridians will ignore hurricane evacuation warnings.

Ben Abbes, Lee County’s Director of Public Safety, said it’s frustrating that no matter the messaging, people won’t leave.

“How could we get that message so that it made the greatest impact on the community and cause them not just to understand it but to take action?” Abbes said. “You know, it’s one thing to deliver the message, it’s another for that message to actually lead to action.”

With their travel trailer, the MaGills have their evacuation plan in place and hope others do as well.

Norman MaGill said, “If one’s coming right towards us, I think we’ll still go. I don’t want to deal with it anymore.”

“You don’t want to be in a situation like us under a mattress for five and a half hours with water dripping all over you. And then, you know, feeling lost and helpless.” Suzanne said.

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