Former Alabama resident now in Florida prepares for Hurricane Ian

Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 9:37 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2022 at 10:24 PM CDT
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BRADENTON, Fla. (WSFA) - Florida is battening down the hatches in preparation for Hurricane Ian, including former Alabama resident Jennifer Mizell Marks and her family.

“It has pivoted away from Alabama, but now it is definitely coming straight at where we’re at here in Florida,” Marks said.

The Ozark native and Troy University graduate moved to the sunshine state with her husband in 2007.

The couple are currently in Bradenton, just about an hour south of Tampa, where they are not required to evacuate.

They have three children who they are working to protect. They plan to hunker down inside their cinderblock home, which survived Hurricane Irma in 2017.

“We had neighbors who stayed and said, ‘We didn’t even lose power,’” she said. “So we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will have that experience again.”

Neighbors have helped them cover their windows with metal shutters. Outdoor furniture sits in their garage. And they have flashlights and candles at the ready.

After all that work, the Alabama native spent the day outside enjoying the calm before this powerful storm.

“We know that we’re not going to be able to leave our house until sometime on Friday,” Marks said. “So knowing that you’re going to be stuck inside for at least a good 48 hours, we’re just trying to be outside with fresh air and with light while we still can.”

The mother said it has been a challenge preparing her kids for the storm, but she and her husband do feel safe, especially with the preparations they have taken.

They are asking the public for prayers.

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