Captiva Island Hurricane Ian hit Captiva Island on September 10th, 2019. As a resident of the island, I felt its full force of destruction in its path – yet we were lucky enough to have survived. In this article, I’ll share my personal account of surviving Hurricane Ian and share lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Before the Hurricane
We were warned about Hurricane Ian a few days before it made landfall. While local authorities advised residents to evacuate, my family and I chose to stay. In preparation, we boarded up windows, secured outdoor furniture, and stockpiled food, water, and essential supplies.
As hurricane day drew near, the island became strangely quiet. Most businesses had closed and only a few people were out walking the streets. The sky turned dark and winds started to pick up speed; by midday rain had begun falling in sheets and howling winds had begun.
During the Hurricane
As Hurricane Irma passed right over our island, it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. The winds were so powerful that they shook our house and we could hear debris flying around outside. Our power went out, leaving us in complete darkness.
We took refuge in our bathroom, as it was the safest room of the house. We had brought along blankets, pillows, and even a battery-operated radio for comfort. We spent hours together, listening to the sounds of the hurricane while praying that it would end soon.
After the Hurricane
Once the hurricane had passed, we went out to assess the damage. While our house had only sustained minor damage, some of our neighbors’ houses experienced roofs torn off and flooding was extensive.
On arrival to the island, it was a mess. Trees had fallen and left debris all over the roads; many signs and structures had been destroyed. We were without power for several days, yet our community came together to help each other out.
Surviving Hurricane Ian was a terrifying experience, but it taught me the significance of preparedness and community. While we were fortunate enough to come out relatively unscathed, others weren’t so lucky. Therefore, it’s essential to take hurricanes seriously and prepare accordingly; moreover, coming together as one cohesive unit during times of crisis can make all the difference.