The past two days I have felt so helpless. We evacuated from the area that Hurricane Ian made landfall. I can only imagine what it was like for those who stayed. The storm was so big that it took HOURS for it to pass over Charlotte County and neighboring North Port.
I can’t believe how draining this whole experience has been. Almost a week of watching the storm. Then fleeing my home. Watching the news as the storm raged. And now, not being able to get any information has been mentally draining.
I’m so glad we left. I really am but I’m also having “survivors guilt” knowing that I didn’t go through what my friends went through. I didn’t have to hold my frightened children or pet(s) while the wind whipped parts of my home away or knocked trees down onto them. I didn’t watch as my entire neighborhood washed past my house in the waves like the Fort Myers, Naples area. I didn’t have to listen to 155 mile per hour winds.
I received a text from a friend at 8pm last night saying she, her husband and two kids are alive but their house is destroyed. That was the last I heard from her.
I have friends who manned the County shelter’s that I haven’t heard from since yesterday morning.
My Facebook and NextDoor feeds are filled with requests for welfare checks.
We did find out that our house is standing. It has some damage but, since cell service is so spotty, we haven’t been able to get photos yet. We are planning to try to head home tomorrow.
If you are able to, please consider donating to help my state. From the hardest hit communities on the West coast to the inland areas that have major flooding, we need help. There are many ways to donate but please be aware that there are some people who aren’t above scamming good hearted people who want to help.
If you want to donate, please investigate the charity. Here are some that were listed on the Miami Herald web page.
Florida Disaster Fund – http://www.volunteerflorida.org – 850-414-7400
Catholic Charities – http://www.catholiccharitiesdov.org
The Greater Miami Jewish Federation – http://www.jewishmiami.org
American Red Cross – http://www.RedCross.org
I’m sure there are more. I’m sure there are GoFundMe pages being set up as we speak. Thank you for your desire to help, but please check the charity out. I’d hate to see people who want to help get scammed.
Please pray for those in South Carolina, who are now in Ian’s path.
I hope you are all ok. I hope all of your loved ones are ok. Please, keep those prayers coming.