Local government, nonprofits show exemplary leadership in face of Hurricane Ian

October 3, 2022

Even for those of us who’ve been through many hurricane seasons, Ian’s impending arrival was next-level terrifying. Tampa Bay was largely spared, but our neighbors to the south experienced devastation beyond comprehension. Recovery in these communities will take years. Looking back on the way this disaster was handled, I am proud and grateful to our government, utility and nonprofit leaders for their swift and effective action before, during and after the hurricane.

Both the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County’s web sites, alerts and social media platforms clearly and frequently communicated evacuation orders, shelter locations, and other vital information. TECO also alerted its customers of its comprehensive storm plan, activated text, email and phone notification systems, and had thousands of workers from neighboring states on standby to begin restoring power the moment it was safe to do so. Our nonprofits serving the neediest and most vulnerable, including Metropolitan Ministries and Feeding Tampa Bay, activated appeals for donations and volunteer support to send help to those affected. Florida’s Emergency Response team met daily and disseminated business recovery and other resources for organizations like ours to share with our constituents.

I want to take this opportunity to say thank you, on behalf of our EDC Team and Investors, to our leaders and their staffs, many of whom spent the entirety of the storm away from their loved ones to perform their duties and take care of our community. If the worst had come to pass, we know you would have been there for us.

As Fort Myers, Naples, and the affected region begins its recovery, we will be sharing ways that you can help on our social media channels.

Stay safe and thank you for looking out for one another.