My Thoughts-Hurricane Ian and New Florida Residents

26 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

Well, we almost squeaked by experiencing a hurricane while we are in Florida with our daughter. We planned to return to the mountains to enjoy fall on Thursday and Hurricane Ian is set to arrive to our part of Florida on Wednesday.

I have lived in Florida more than 50 years and have experienced more storms than I can remember. The earliest hurricane I do remember was hurricane Donna in 1960. I have a memory of rocking in an old wooden rocker, listening to the wind, and my parents assuring me that we would be just fine. And we were.

Now as hurricane Ian approaches I am concerned for the thousands of new Florida residents who are newbies to hurricane season. I’m going out on a limb here to share my life experience observations. To be clear, these are my thoughts on coping, not official advice. There are multiple excellent sources of advice on how to prepare for a hurricane.

As I write this on Monday evening, September 26, we are supposed to begin experiencing tropical force winds and rains as early as Tuesday evening. At this time, our location on the east coast of Florida is not expected to face hurricane force winds. But Ian hasn’t cleared Cuba yet. And hurricanes are wonky storms, especially if they slow their forward movement or worse yet, stop moving. Then its anyone’s guess. I remember in August 1992 we went to bed expecting to wake up to Hurricane Andrew. Instead, Andrew made an abrupt beeline for South Florida. We felt very like effects from it but South Florida was devastated.

Hurricane Ian

Photo Credit:

So here are my thoughts.

  1. Don’t panic. Prepare
  2. Fill your gas tank a couple of days before the storm’s expected arrival. The gas lines can be insane.
  3. Should you choose to evacuate. From experience, if you even think you might want to leave, make a hotel reservation NOW. And if you are not required to work up to the day before the storm, hurricane prep your home and hit the road. Trust me, evacuation traffic jams are not a picnic. I think we only evacuated twice in over 50 yeas.
  4. Don’t count on the weather channel for your hurricane information. They will scare you!
  5. When/ if the power goes out, you will still want to know what the storm is doing. Since the storm is coming from the west, we will be on the east side to the storm and that side is notorious for throwing out tornados. Find a local TV station with a weather person you like and download their app. In central Florida I like WKMG, website Their app is News 6 pinpoint weather.,
  6. Sandbags. County agencies are giving out free sandbags. If you have seen water collecting near your house and or doors during a summer thunderstorm, take advantage of these free bags. They can prevent water from invading your garage and home doorways. (Yes, life experience here.)
  7. Cell phones don’t always work well due to tower damage. We downloaded the Zello app. It is not perfect but it helps to keep in touch with family and friends. I did see that Zello has a business version, my version is free. You can use any push to talk app. Just make sure you set it up with those you want to stay in touch with before the storm.
  8. NewsOn- This news channel app plays on devices like phones, tablets and streaming devices. The search function allows you to choose a state, city and TV station. Family and friends can keep up with what is happening in your location.
  9. Charge your devices! If you have power banks charge them too!
  10. Fans. It is going to be hot once the storm passes. I don’t like being hot. Thankfully our daughter has a couple of battery powered fans that are used for camping. These are not necessary, but they do help.

Here is the link to the National Hurricane Center with detailed lists of prep items.

I hope this was helpful to our new Florida neighbors. We will make it through this storm together and afterwards, we will clean up together. Just be careful with those chain saws and power clippers!

2016 Hurricane

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2022 goal is continue to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media.

One Response to “My Thoughts-Hurricane Ian and New Florida Residents”

  1. divoran09 September 27, 2022 at 5:47 pm #

    This was a great blog and quite helpful. We’re all set for whatever. I feel like it will be no worse than any other hurricane we’ve had and probably a lot better.




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