Charlotte County's emergency management team convened a meeting on August 28 to prepare for Idalia's impending arrival. Patrick Fuller, the Director of Emergency Management for Charlotte County Emergency Management, leads the efforts.
"We have numerous residents that are currently residing within travel trailers or in compromised homes that were damaged from Hurricane Ian," he remarked. Even 11 months after Hurricane Ian struck, many homes across Charlotte County remain susceptible to damage.
Considering the area's historical vulnerability to storms that initially projected trajectories further north, the team is closely monitoring the progress of the approaching storm. Fuller emphasized, "Due to our history of storms impacting us that had originally had tracks going further north, we're paying close attention to this storm, putting plans into provision to ensure that we can respond quickly."
With the goal of swift response in mind, the county has scheduled the opening of a refuge center at 8 a.m. on Tuesday for individuals who no longer feel secure in their homes. The designated location is 1120 Centennial Park, off Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte.
While the county currently lacks concrete evacuation plans, this stance is open to change depending on the cumulative amount of rainfall. Fuller affirmed, "We are paying close attention to any changes that will necessitate that... we're ready to pull the trigger if needed."