SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Taking a look around Sarasota County, it isn’t hard find reminders of Hurricane Ian.
“I don’t know what is going to happen when hurricane season is here again,” said Lazy River Village resident Pat Huffman. “It is just scary.”
With 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season quickly approaching, the impacts of last year’s hurricane season still at the forefront of many minds in Sarasota County.
Now, emergency management officials are strongly encouraging residents to prepare and remain vigilant throughout the season.
Officials are urging community members to create an evacuation plan, a communications plan, and a disaster kit that fits the specific needs of their household, including pets.
“Do not wait until a storm is approaching,” Sarasota County Emergency Services Director Rich Collins said. “Make decisions and take action to prepare you and your family before hurricane season starts.”
“Have plans for evacuating, a stocked disaster supply kit and a way to stay informed to ensure you’re prepared for an emergency,” Collins added.
He says to know your risk and your home; your evacuation plan should include knowing when to evacuate.
According to Sarasota County Emergency Management officials, there may be risk for storm surge even if water can’t be seen from your home.
Your disaster kit should have everything you’d need to last each person and pet in your household up to 10 days. This should include important paperwork and medications.
North Port residents like Sasha Greto, still recovering from Hurricane Ian, say preparing now could save your life.
“You have to have some faith,” she said. “You have to have some blind faith.”
“You have to be able to hold onto something because everything is unknown,” Greto continued. “I think it makes a huge difference, at least for me.”