Are You Prepared For A Hurriccane?


(By Fire Chief Matt Love) It is that time of year again in our community, not spring break, not tourist season, but Hurricane Season!  Whether you’re a permanent or seasonal resident, new or old, hurricane season is kind of a big deal especially for our beach community. I am sure you have seen the articles by our preparedness professionals over the last couple of months. Our goal is to make sure you are as prepared as possible for an event, and have the resources necessary to take care of yourself and your family. Here are a few quick tips to help you in preparation.

  1. Know your evacuation zone-  Fort Myers Beach and San Carlos Island are considered Zone “A” or (Red) according to Lee County Emergency Management. Areas that are identified as Zone “A” are the most vulnerable and are subject to the most dangerous hazards (storm surge, high winds, and tidal waves).

  2. Have an Emergency Plan- This plan will vary based on each member of our community, but should cover what to do before, during, and after a storm.

  3. Know your evacuation routes- Fort Myers Beach only has two ways on and off the island! Make sure you know which route is the best to get safely off the island.

  4. Have an evacuation location plan- While there are numerous public shelters, these should be a second choice option, and not a primary choice.  Make plans to stay with friends and family, or even relocate outside of the path of the storm.

  5. Have a plan for your pets- Shelters are available that accept pets. Plan ahead and know what your options are. Please do not leave any pets behind!

  6. Do you have a disability?- There are shelters to accommodate residents with special needs. Plan ahead and register early to make sure the proper needs you require will be met.

  7. Social media is your friend- There are various social media platforms that we will use along with the Town of Fort Myers Beach, and Lee County Emergency Operations to keep the community up to date.

More information on preparing for this season can be found in our new Hurricane Preparedness Guide.  This guide provides contact information, social media information, a checklist to assist with identifying supplies you may need, and additional information to ensure you are a step ahead this season. Knowledge is truly power and the members of the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department are dedicated to ensuring our community is informed and prepared.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of our Hurricane Preparedness Guide please contact us at (239) 590-4200, email us at, or visit us on the web at

Thank you for your support and make it a safe day!

Matt Love has been the Fort Myers Beach Fire Chief since 2016. In 2019 he was selected by the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Lee County Florida as Fire Chief of the Year. He can be reached at the fire department at 239- 590-4200