Hurricane Ian permanently impacts several Orlando residents
Hurricane Ian left many Floridians in shock and disbelief. Many had to seek temporary housing relocation, food bank services and disaster relief group assistance. Counties were mandated to evacuate as the storm quickly increased in severity. Several Floridians are now describing Hurricane Ian as a historical natural disaster due to the number of lives it claimed and its overall damage.
Orlando is just one of the cities that Hurricane Ian impacted the most. Trees were knocked down, power outages occurred and many homes were ruined. Rebekah Cunningham, a student at the University of Central Florida, witnessed several instances of damage within her community.
“Many of our neighbors' homes were flooded because they live near a lake that overflowed because of the storm,” Cunningham said.
Life for residents in Orlando was put on hold while efforts were made by the city to help clear roadways and restore power. School and work came to a halt and multiple events and trips were either postponed or canceled.
While many residents remained unharmed and faced little impact from Hurricane Ian, others lost everything and were put in unimaginable circumstances. Isabella Eloian, another student at UCF, knows families who live only 10 minutes away from her who have faced an entirely different reality.
“I know many people who lost power and are still gaining it back from the storm last week,” Eloian said.
Natural disasters such as Hurricane Ian reinforce the importance of hurricane safety for families across Florida and other states that are at high risk. While natural disasters can be unpredictable, it is important to prepare as much as possible before they take place.
“We cleaned the yard and brought everything that wasn’t already tied down in our garage and everyone else in our community was boarding their windows,” Cunningham said.
Being aware of government mandates and safety advice is imperative for storm preparedness. Hurricane Ian has changed many people’s view of hurricanes and the devastation that they can cause.
“I think seeing what had happened to Sanibel Island emphasized the importance of evacuating when your area must do so. My family was extremely lucky to have very little damage and impact from the storm,” Eloian said.
Community support is needed more than ever for many families living in Florida. Donating to local charities, volunteering at disaster relief non-for-profits, giving to local food banks and helping clean up areas that Hurricane Ian destroyed are all ways to help families get back on their feet and encourage those whose lives have permanently changed due to the storm.
By Grace Sigler