As a result of the destruction and challenges Hurricane Ian has introduced to the Sanibel-Captiva community, residents and businesses face questions regarding recovery and where the islands go from here in terms of resilient rebuilding.


The newly formed SanCap Citizens for a Resilient Future, together with the city of Sanibel, Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce, and other island organizations, hopes to address concerns in a two-part community meeting series. The first event takes place on Thursday, March 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. at BIG ARTS on Sanibel. It is open to the public free of charge and will focus on sharing community stories and collecting feedback to guide a citizen-led planning effort focused on building greater resiliency for the future.


Panelists will share their stories as residents and business owners and their perspectives on the work we have ahead as a community to address our short- and long- term needs. Keynote speaker Porter Goss, Sanibel’s first mayor and a former CIA director, will lead the discussion. City Councilman John Henshaw will moderate.

Some questions the panel will address include: Will we rebuild in a way that makes us more resilient to future events? What were the successes in our community response, and how can we be better prepared? How can we recover from the loss of community members who choose to move after this storm? How will our businesses and nonprofits recover and flourish again? How can we continue to collaborate and support one another?


“As we see progress with our business community coming back from this unprecedented disaster, it’s time to pause and reflect on the past five months and how they should impact the next five years and beyond,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “The chamber urges you to join us for this important community conversation.”


The second part of the series takes place on March 15 in a lunch-and-learn format. Stay tuned for more details.



The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. The Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. The chamber website receives more than 1.3 million website visits per year. For more information about the chamber, visit or contact John Lai, president and CEO, at 239-472-2348 or [email protected].