A most unwelcome intruder named Ian | Editorial [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]
South Florida Sun Sentinel (FL)
Florida’s luck has run out. Barring a meteorological miracle, we have a day, maybe two, before a major storm slams into the Gulf coast and tears through the state.
We don’t know where Hurricane Ian will hit or how powerful its storm surge will be. But we can anticipate what the aftermath is likely to look like: Massive flooding. Uprooted trees. Roofs torn off homes and businesses. A loss of power. Lives disrupted for days, possibly weeks or months. In short, misery. If not for us, then for our fellow Floridians north and west, especially in flood-prone Tampa Bay.
Ian’s path has moved away from South Florida, but if he deals a major blow, pain will be felt statewide. As property insurance companies across Florida have raised rates dramatically, cancelled tens of thousands of policies or flat-out collapsed, more property owners have been herded into state-backed Citizens Property Insurance, which has more than doubled its number of policies in three years. If the state ends up with a giant liability, it could suck the state’s reserve fund dry.
Worse, state officials say, more Floridian property owners are without insurance than ever before, either by choice or because their policies were canceled and they ran out of time to find alternative coverage.
But for now, Floridians have one duty: Pay attention. Watch the track in case it changes. Do what’s needed to protect yourself and your loved ones. For those in the hurricane’s path, figure out where to go if the order is given to evacuate. Make sure you know the nearest shelter that meets your needs, and realize those shelters tend to fill up quickly. Gather important documents, medications, bedding or sleeping bags, a stockpile of food and entertainment — including chargers and battery banks — and be prepared to leave if told to go. Your first and most important duty is to remain safe. The rest can wait until this most unwelcome intruder is gone.
The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board consists of Editorial Page Editor Steve Bousquet, Deputy Editorial Page Editor Dan Sweeney, and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson. Editorials are the opinion of the Board and written by one of its members or a designee. To contact us, email at [email protected].