SARASOTA COUNTY (WFLA) — Sarasota County saw a lot of damage last hurricane season. Emergency management officials say there was $162 million in damages across the county as a result of Hurricane Ian.

As we approach another hurricane season, officials are emphasizing how critical it is for the public to get prepared early.

“Make a plan, gather supplies that will last you and everyone in your home, including your pets, for at least seven days. Just thinking back to Ian, the flooding and issues we had in South County, the loss of power, having the supplies to be able to take care of you and your family,” said Emergency Services Director Rich Collins.

Many residents in the southern portion of the county are still working to rebuild. There’s a sense of uneasiness thinking about all the unknowns going into this new season.

“It’s very scary. We don’t know what to expect,” said Debbie Satterfield. The Harbor Cove resident is still working to rebuild and restore her home after Ian.

County officials say for those still recovering, having a plan is paramount.

“Being even more cognizant of the weather conditions and understanding that if your home has damage that is still working to get repaired from Ian, then you need to be extra careful and listening to what you need to do, if you need to leave the area. I would then also make sure they have a plan on where they are going to go,” said Collins.

The county wants to help residents get storm-ready. There are numerous events still remaining where residents can learn the basics of disaster readiness and ask questions to the emergency management team.

  • Venice Hurricane Expo at the Venice Community Center, 326 Nokomis Ave. S., Venice.
    • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., May 19
  • SRQCon at Selby Public Library,1331 First St., Sarasota
    • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 20 (not a presentation but staff will have a table at the event)
  • North Port Public Library, 13800 S. Tamiami Trail, North Port
    • 5 to 6:30 p.m. May 23
  • North Port Public Library, 13800 S. Tamiami Trail, North Port
    • 2 to 3:30 p.m., June 3
  • Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Public Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice
    • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 7
  • Fruitville Public Library, 100 Apex Road, Sarasota
    • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 26