What We Learned From Hurricane Ian

by Tim Hart | Nov 28, 2022 3:51:00 PM

10 Ways to Prep for the Next Storm

Hurricane Ian was rough, but as I said on the cover, all my friends and family made it through the storm. We were lucky because, looking back,I can see several holes in our hurricane preparations.

I couldn’t help but wonder if my buddies learned as much from the storm as I did. After Ian passed through, I posted on Facebook asking what my friends and family would have done differently to get ready for Ian, given the chance for a do-over. About 60 people came through with responses, and they had some great ideas. Here area few of the ideas that popped up over and over again.

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1. Invest in an AM/FM radio.This was the No. 1 reply to my post and my main miss. Many of my friends thought that because they had cellphones, they wouldn't need a radio to keep up with the news. Unfortunately, when you lose cell service and your internet connection, a cell phone is pretty much useless—even if it’s fully charged.

Next time a storm warning comes through, I’m going to take a leaf out of my grandma’s book (she was a total hurricane nut and always over-prepared) and make sure I have a battery-powered AM/FM radio handy. I suggest you do the same!

2. Keep a supply of batteries on hand.You need batteries for your radio, flashlights, etc. Make sure you have plenty to go around.

3. Buy rabbit ears for the TV.During Ian, the power came back before our cable service was up and running. With rabbit ears, you can get local channels and keep up with the news even while cable is down.

4. Fill up on gas right away.There is always a run on gas before a hurricane, to the point that some people have stopped joining the line because it’s such a hassle. That’s a big mistake because generators can eat through gas in a hurry. I had to siphon gas from my RV for three days during Ian because the gas line was so long. Next time, I’ll try to have more fuel on hand.

5. Stockpile a bigger water supply.Some friends and family ran out of drinking water during Ian and had to boil tap water. Cape Coral had no water for over a week and most were on a boil notice for a couple of weeks. If you have a large water supply ready, you can avoid that nuisance.

6. Pick up extra pet food and store it safely.Several people who own horses and chickens responded to my post. They noted that before a storm, it’s essential to stock up on extra feed and store it up high so it won’t get soaked.

7. Take evacuation notices seriously.Lee County is full of resilient, self-sufficient people, and many of us stubbornly stayed home to ride out the storm. I don’t regret my decision to stay, but a couple of my friends said they would leave if they had a do-over. If you do evacuate,remember to take your vehicles with you!

8. Make sure your generator is big enough.You don’t need a whole-house generator to get through a hurricane, but it’s helpful to have a portable generator on hand. You can plug it in to run your AC, fridge, freezer, fans, and lights—as long as it’s big enough to power the mall.

9. Buy a supply of paper or plastic plates.This is a great way to avoid wasting your limited water supply on washing dishes.

10. Don’t forget the beer!This is the most Lee County thing ever, but more than one of my buddies said they wish they’d bought more beer before Ian. Stock up to celebrate your survival in style.

Of course, this is far from a complete list of things you need to ride out a hurricane. It’s also a good idea to have a month’s worth of food, a wad of cash, and guns and ammo to protect both. Fortunately, my friends had those basics covered. I hope everyone has their preparations locked and loaded for next time.


Born and raised in Southwest Florida, I have been in the Mortgage business since 2001 I'm a grizzly, battle tested mortgage veteran. I am also the Host of Rates & Reels, which is the most popular fishing show in Southwest Florida, hosted by a guy named Tim. In my spare time I love spending time with my family, coaching baseball, and anything else my kids or wife want me to do. I would be happy to help you or someone you know with any of your Mortgage needs.

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