If you live in Southwest Florida, hurricanes are a part of life. It is the price one pays for living in paradise. So, we are used to dealing with hurricanes. Hurricane Ian, however was something historic, something people will remember and talk about to their children and grandchildren. Of late, the media has highly inflated hurricane phenomena. I feel this is because they were politicized and wanted to use it to promote their global warming agenda. So the reporting was always over the top. In many cases, I am thinking of Hurricane Irma, The reporting was so negative that people were told “you’re all gonna die so get out of where you are and get to the East Coast”. This over the top reporting exacerbated the damage of the storm. Many people followed the advice of the media and found that their houses were looted and robbed. In other words, the houses weren’t damaged from the storm but from the false reporting on the storm. The suffering caused by mass evacuation was also under reported. Traffic was at a stand still for hundreds of miles. Gas was impossible to obtain. Motels were booked up. So there were hundreds of cars (perhaps even more) stranded on the highway. They were all better off staying where they were and taking their chances.

This time however, with Hurricane Ian, I noticed a big difference in the reporting. They are not minimizing the danger, but neither are they maximizing it. The reporting is sedate …. balanced. The people living in flood zones are told to evacuate and told where to evacuate. Others are told to shelter in place. There is a sense of order about everything. I noticed this order at the supermarket two days after the storm. It was only open for limited hours. Yes most items were sold out, but people were courteous to one another, and so are the workers at Publix. There are no riots and no fights between the customers, things we usually see when there are food shortages. The first two days after the storm, driving is very treacherous and we all stay home. My street is flooded and I hear that some of the main thoroughfare’s are also flooded.

It took a few days for my street to get cleared and I was able to drive to our main thorough fare US 41. Traffic is very slow and since the lights are down on many intersections we have police manually directing traffic. All the restaurants, including the fast food places are shut down tight. Publix, now open for longer hours, is pretty much sold out of everything. I did find peanut butter, jelly and a loaf of bread. So I had enough to survive. I was concerned about the gasoline situation, as I was down to a quarter of a tank. Getting gas was impossible. Most of the gas stations were closed. I’m told, that if there is no electricity, which was the case, even if the gas station has gasoline they cannot pump it without electricity. I found one open gas station, but the lines were so long, stretching for miles, that I didn’t bother. One could run out of gas just waiting in the line.

My community got off relatively easy, there were one or two downed trees and many roofs of the carports blown away. Heaps of metal are strewn all over our road.

When you drive on the side roads, you have to drive slowly to avoid all the heaps of debris in the middle of the road.

Street signs are laying flat on the ground unless you know your way around you don’t know what street you are on.

Little by little we are returning to some semblance of normalcy. But my friends who live here locally say that full recovery will take years not days or weeks. Many houses are so damaged they will have to be torn down. The roofers and contractors are so overloaded that it will take them weeks to make all their calls.

Again I notice, there is no civil disturbance, no street fights, no looting, at least in my neighborhood. Everyone is calm and doing what needs to be done. There is a calm professionalism about the whole situation.

As I write this, I have electricity, Internet phone service and running water. The restaurants are open and the shelves of Publix seem to be restocked. I am happy . We are all grateful for the little things that we all took for granted. To quote one of my neighbors, “I never knew that the sound of a flushing toilet would make me so happy”.