Preparing for the unexpected as hurricane season approaches

A last-minute shift of Hurricane Charley in 2004 forever changed Southwest Florida, and it’s proof that you should be prepared for the unexpected.

“I sat in my recliner here and I’m looking out the window watching trees blow by,” said Edward LaSota, who lives in a Deep Creek, just a few miles from where Charley made landfall.

“Everybody had a blue roof, they had covering over it,” he said.

“We had minimal damage from Charley; we were lucky.”

Charley’s unexpected turn into Charlotte Harbor shows that major storms have a mind of their own.

“Folks need to determine their risk to know exactly what hurricane evacuation zone they live in,” said Patrick Fuller, director of Charlotte County Emergency Management.

He said his team is ready to open Charlotte’s four shelters if necessary, and they’re still keeping the pandemic in mind.

“All those plans are still in place. There’s still safety measures in place for sheltering,” Fuller said.

You should prepare, too. Stock up on water, nonperishable food, and batteries. Also, be sure to create an emergency plan for your family should things take a turn.

“Get an idea of what you should do, or what you may want to do,” LaSota said.

Now is the time to prep for the unexpected.

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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