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Local Florida native to gather supplies for hurricane survivors

Elizabeth Dressel said what's happening in her home state right now is devastating. When she got a call from her father, she knew it was bad.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Although Elizabeth Dressel has been living in Knoxville for nearly 20 years, she still calls Florida home. 

She's been in contact with friends and relatives in her hometown and said she had to do something because of all the damage. 

"I was just at Fort Myers Beach a few weeks ago and can't believe it. And when my brother told me that the images on the news don't do any justice, my heart sank," Dressel said. 

Dressel said what's happening in her home state is devastating. When she got a call from her father, she knew it was terrible. 

"My dad is a Vietnam veteran and does not ask for help. He asked me to come down there. That is how bad it is," she said. 

Hurricane Ian touched down in Florida this week, causing catastrophic damages, flooding and power outages. 

"Yeah, so, cell service has been horrible. A lot of people are just staying home, and the roads aren't clear," Dressel said. 

She also said she will drive 12 hours to help her relatives and other people affected with anything they need in a few days. 

"I'm going to leave early Monday morning and drive down. I have about a 30-foot trailer I'm trying to fill with supplies. My brother will distribute the supplies through the fire department to the people who need it most," she said.

She mentioned items that will help people get by, including "Supplies such as water flashlight. It's battery packs, gas cans, nonperishable food items." 

Dressel moved to Knoxville in 2004 after Hurricane Charley and her family in Florida said Hurricane Ian seems worse. 

"Much larger than Charley, and the damage is just substantial compared to Charley. Some so many people have lost everything," she said. 

Dressel is taking donations and people can contact her by emailing lizdressel94@gmail.com.

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