SEVERE STORM UPDATES: Friday, December 8, 2017

There will be several issues to watch in our forecast over the weekend. This will mainly deal with the possibility of some severe weather and cold temperatures. Hillsborough County will continue to monitor these situations as they develop and provide further details as needed.




Multiple weather hazards are in the forecast through the weekend:

  • A cold front will serve as the focus for potentially strong to severe thunderstorms, along with a heavy rainfall threat later Friday through Friday night. The main threats with any severe thunderstorm, in addition to heavy rainfall, will be damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.
  • A much colder air mass (coldest of the season so far) will arrive Saturday in the wake of the cold front. Near freezing temperatures, low wind chills, and frost potential are forecast for many locations Saturday night and Sunday night.
  • Hazardous boating conditions develop in the wake of the cold front over the eastern Gulf of Mexico Friday night through Saturday night due to a combination of strong winds and rough seas. An elevated risk of strong and more frequent rip currents is expected along area beaches Saturday through Sunday morning.


Severe Thunderstorm Threat


Thunderstorms develop along a cold front this evening and move ashore along the Florida west coast. Conditions will favor a few storms to become strong to severe within the “Slight Risk” Area.
The threat will end from west to east with the passage of a cold front late Friday night. The main threats with the stronger storms will be damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.



  • Damaging Winds
  • Isolated Tornadoes
  • Locally heavy rainfall
  • Potential for urban flooding.



  • Early Friday Evening through Friday Night.



Rainfall Through Midday Saturday


  • Potential for locally heavy rainfall through Saturday morning.
  • A widespread 1-2” rainfall event is forecast.
  • Conditions support areas of higher totals associated with more persistent bands of thunderstorms.
    Urban flooding is a concern if any bands form over higher population areas.
  • The timing of the heaviest rain threat will be early evening through the overnight hours.
  • This forecast represents an increase in the heavy rain threat from earlier briefings.



Saturday Night/Sunday Morning Low Temperatures (top) and Lowest Wind Chill (bottom)



  • Widespread 30s north of the I-4 corridor.
  • Lower to middle 40s south of I-4.


Wind Chill:

  • Upper 20s to lower 30s north of I-4.
  • Middle to upper 30s south of I-4.



  • Coldest temperatures and wind chill values late at night / toward dawn.



Sunday Night/Monday Morning Low Temperatures (top) & Lowest Wind Chill (bottom)



  • Lower to middle 30s north of the I-4 corridor.
  • Coldest spots north of I-4 in the upper 20s.
  • Middle to upper 30s south of I-4 (40s immediate coast).


Wind Chill:

  • Upper 20s to lower 30s north of I-4.
  • Lower to middle to 30s south of I-4.



  • Coldest temperatures and wind chill values late at night / toward dawn.



Frost Potential


Forecast temperatures and wind conditions provide the following “best guess” as to where frost formation will be most likely each of the nights this upcoming weekend.



It is important to remember that frost can form on plants, cars and roofs when observed temperatures are above 32°F.



Strong northwest to northerly winds will develop Friday night over the eastern Gulf of Mexico behind a departing cold front.
These winds will result in hazardous boating conditions for small craft operators through Saturday Night.




Get important information on how to avoid Disaster Fraud, how to access FEMA assistance, where to find hot meals and a cool place for seniors without power, how to register for federal individual assistance (in English & Spanish), how to register for Small Business Assistance, HART bus updates, disaster assistance through Mobile Apps & Online Surveys, free wi-fi and computer access at our public libraries, and more, all in one place on my website, under a new tab, “After The Storm.”



UDATED LAST: 9-14-17 at 8:05AM


Warning for Residents on Little Manatee and Upper Hillsborough River

Residents living along the floodplain of the Little Manatee and Upper Hillsborough rivers are urged to watch the rising water levels due to the effects of Hurricane Irma rainfall. If water is approaching your home, Hillsborough County strongly recommends you evacuate immediately. If you are unable to evacuate, call 911.


Storm yard debris collection for Hillsborough County


Residents cleaning up their yards can start disposing of vegetative storm debris as yard waste collections begin in the unincorporated Hillsborough County Service Area, which also includes Tampa Palms, Hunter’s Green, and New Tampa.

Due to the extent of storm debris created from Hurricane Irma, contracted yard debris collection will start on Monday, Sept. 18. Residents should have yard waste placed in piles along the right of way for collection by Monday, Sept. 18. Do not block access to storm water drains, utility boxes, or roadways.

As storm debris is being collected, the trucks will be working systematically throughout neighborhoods. The trucks may have to make several passes through the neighborhoods over the next several weeks due to the extent of storm damage, and to ensure the removal of all storm debris put out by residents.

County yard waste facilities are operating under extended hours, Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Residents must show a valid Florida driver’s license to receive free yard waste disposal.

Yard waste facilities open are:
· Falkenburg Road – 346 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa 33619
· Northwest County – 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave, Tampa 33625
· South County – 13000 U.S. Highway 41, Gibsonton 33534
· Hillsborough Heights – 6209 County Road 579, Seffner 33584

Residential garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection services resumed on Wednesday, Sept. 13.






About 3,500 workers from as far away as Canada begin arriving today to help with restoration


Tampa, Fla. (Sept. 12, 2017) – Tampa Electric is working around the clock – and is bringing in reinforcements – to restore power for the thousands of customers affected by Hurricane Irma.

Tampa Electric expects to restore power to essentially all customers by Sunday night. Tampa Electric plans to provide more geographically-specific restoration times as soon as we can. Some customers with more complex damage may take longer to restore.

425,000 of our 700,000 customers were impacted by the storm.  After the peak of the storm 335,000 customers remained without power. Power has already been restored to 175,000 customers, leaving 35% of customers without power.

“We are making significant progress around the clock to restore power – and that will continue until all customers have electricity,” said Gordon Gillette, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “We know that customers are trying to get life back to normal, and having electricity is a key part of that. Thank you for your patience as we rebuild our system.”

Due to the magnitude of the storm and the significant rebuilding required, restoration will require more than 280,000 man-hours of work.

About 3,200 line, tree and other workers, from other utilities from as far away as the Midwest and Northeast Canada, continue to arrive today to assist Tampa Electric, as part of the largest restoration effort in U.S. history.

Customer Service has 24-hour coverage – and extra staff on hand – to take emergency and outage-related calls. The company also has assistance from other utilities to take weather-related calls, if needed. For customers with non-storm-related calls, please consider calling later in the week.

Tampa Electric offers customers several ways to report power outages:

  • The fastest, easiest way to report an outage is to visit
  • Also, enroll in Power Updates from to text outage reports or get service updates via text, phone or email.
  • Update the phone number and email associated with your account at This helps when you report an outage.
  • Residential and commercial customers may call Tampa Electric’s dedicated toll-free automated power outage phone system at 1-877-588-1010 to report a power outage or electric emergency.

Customers can monitor and track outages in their neighborhoods through the outage map at The map displays the cause, status and estimated restoration time. Tampa Electric also will use Twitter @tampaelectric to keep customers informed about outage restoration.

Tampa Electric would like to remind customers to be safe after a storm:

  • Remember to keep away from downed power lines and urge others to be extremely cautious.
  • Remember to use portable generators safely. Plug your appliances directly into the generator. DO NOT connect your portable generator into your home’s circuits. Connecting your generator to the circuits may cause power to flow to outside lines, posing life-threatening danger to restoration crews.
  • Portable generators must not be taken into homes or any enclosed space (like a garage) where deadly carbon monoxide gases could build up.
  • Stay out of floodwaters, as they can hide energized power lines or put you at risk of drowning.



For Immediate Release
Media Contact
Megan Danner

Communications & Digital Media
(813) 277-1600


Hillsborough County Offices and Facilities Open Wednesday, Except for Facilities without Power


Hillsborough County, Fla. (Sept. 12, 2017) – Hillsborough County will reopen many offices and facilities on Wednesday, Sept. 13, and will resume normal business hours. That includes County Center at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd. in downtown Tampa. However, several County facilities will be closed due to power outages.

The primary focus for Hillsborough County continues to be on public safety and disaster recovery in response to Hurricane Irma. Some day-to-day services may take a bit longer to process than usual.

Facilities CLOSED on Wednesday, Sept. 13, include:

Government Buildings

  • Roger P. Stewart Complex – 3629 Queen Palm Drive in Tampa
  • UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County – 5339 County Road 579 in Seffner
  • Busansky Senior Center – 4102 W. Spruce St. in Tampa
  • Plant City Courthouse – 301 N. Michigan Ave. in Plant City
  • Plant City Service Center – 307 N. Michigan Ave. in Plant City
  • Progress Village Senior Center – 8802 Allamanda Ave. in Tampa
  • Lutz Senior Center – 112 1st Ave. NW in Lutz


  • Seffner-Mango Branch Library – 410 N. Kingsway Road in Seffner
  • Thonotosassa Branch Library – 10715 Main St. in Thonotosassa
  • Town ‘N Country Regional Library – 7606 Paula Drive in Tampa
  • Lutz Branch Library  – 101 Lutz-Lake Fern Road W. in Lutz
  • Seminole Heights Branch Library – 4711 N. Central Ave. in Tampa
  • Hillsborough County Library Technical Services – 3804 S Manhattan Ave. in Tampa
  • West Tampa Branch Library – 2312 W Union St. in Tampa
  • Charles J. Fendig Public Library – 3909 W. Neptune St. in Tampa
  • Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library – 3910 S. Manhattan Ave. in Tampa
  • Port Tampa – 4902 W. Commerce St. in Tampa

Parks and Recreation Centers

  • Mango Recreation Center – 11717 Clay Pit Road in Seffner
  • All People’s Life Center – 6105 E. Sligh Ave. in Tampa
  • Bealsville Park– 5009 Nesmith Road in Plant City
  • Turkey Creek Recreation Center– 5936 Connell Road in Plant City
  • Keysville Park – 9390 Edison Road in Lithia
  • Sterling Heights Park – 11706 Williams Road in Thonotosassa
  • Kenly Park – 3101 N. 66th St. in Tampa
  • Kings Forest Park – 8008 E. Chelsea St. in Tampa
  • Seffner Civic Center – 1212 S. Kingsway Road in Seffner
  • Evans Park – 1104 N. Kingsway Road in Seffner

Hillsborough County is working with TECO to restore power to these facilities, and will continue to assess the individual locations day by day.

Hillsborough County’s Customer Service Center line, (813) 272-5900, will continue to assist residents 24 hours a day, until further notice.



Majority of County Roads are Open and Accessible: Hillsborough County has completed initial damage assessments for roadways accessibility and safety. While some downed trees and power lines, and minor flooding remain, the majority of roadways in the County are open. As residents get back on the road, they are urged to exercise caution. Residents can call (813) 272-5900 to report flooding and road problems or to request additional information.


Hillsborough County residents are urged to exercise caution as they venture outside to assess damage from Hurricane Irma. Expect additional rain and wind gusts this morning as the storm continues to move north. Stay in place while emergency personnel respond to hazards such as downed power lines, fallen trees, and flooded roadways.



For Immediate Release
Media Contact
Todd Pratt
Communications & Digital Media
(813) 277-1600

Hillsborough County Opens Additional Irma Evacuation Shelters

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Sept. 9, 2017) – Hillsborough County continues to open additional shelters for residents evacuating ahead of Hurricane Irma.

A mandatory evacuation for Evacuation Zone A went into effect at 8 a.m. this morning. The shelters are for residents in Evacuation Zone A, residents whose homes are vulnerable to storm surge and flooding, and those living in manufactured homes that are susceptible to wind damage.

Shelters are filling quickly; residents are encouraged not to wait if they think they will need to stay in one of these shelters during the storm.

Wharton High School, 20150 Bruce B. Downs in Tampa, has been added as a pet-friendly shelter.

These shelters are currently OPEN:

•Barrington Middle School, 5925 Village Center Drive, Lithia (wheelchair-accessible)

•Benito Middle School, 10101 Cross Creek Blvd., Tampa (wheelchair-accessible)

•Bevis Elementary School, 5720 Osprey Ridge Drive, Lithia

•Bloomingdale High School, 1700 East Bloomingdale Ave., Valrico

•Cannella Elementary School, 10707 Nixon Road, Tampa

•Carrollwood Elementary School, 3516 McFarland Rd., Tampa (wheelchair-accessible)

•Chiles Elementary School, 16541 Tampa Palms Blvd. W, Tampa

•Cimino Elementary School, 4329 Culbreath Road, Valrico

•Collins Elementary School, 12424 Summerfield Blvd., Riverview

•Cork Elementary School, 3501 N. Cork Rd., Plant City

•Heritage Elementary School, 18201, East Meadows Road, Tampa

•Knights Elementary School, 4815 N. Keene Road, Plant City

•Lake Magdalene Elementary School, 2002 Pine Lake Drive, Tampa

•Lockhart Elementary School, 3719 N. 17th St., Tampa

•Marshall Middle School, 18 South Maryland Ave., Plant City (wheelchair-accessible)

•McKitrick Elementary School, 5503 Lutz Lake Fern Road, Lutz

•McLane Middle School, 306 N. Knights Ave., Brandon

•Mulrennan Middle School, 4215 Durant Road, Tampa (wheelchair-accessible)

•Nelson Elementary School, 5413 Durant Road, Tampa

•Newsome High School, 16510 Fish Hawk Blvd., Lithia (wheelchair-accessible)

•Pride Elementary School, 18271 Kinnan St., Tampa

•Riddick Elementary School, 325 West Lake Drive, Wimauma (wheelchair-accessible)

•Sheehy Elementary School, 6402 N. 40th St., Tampa

•Stowers Elementary School, 13915 Barrington Stowers Drive, Lithia

•Tomlin Middle School, 501 N. Woodrow Wilson, Plant City (wheelchair-accessible)

•Turkey Creek Middle School, 5005 Turkey Creek Road, Plant City

•Wharton High School, 20150 Bruce B. Downs, Tampa (pet-friendly) (wheelchair-accessible)

•Wilson Elementary School, 702 English St., Plant City

Below is the list of shelters that opened this morning and still have capacity:

•Bartels Middle School, 9020 Imperial Oak Blvd, Tampa (pet-friendly)

•Hammond Elementary School, 8008 N Mobley Road, Odessa

•Sessums Elementary School, 11525 Ramble Creek Drive, Tampa

•Smith, Sgt. Paul Middle School, 14303 Citrus Pointe Drive, Tampa (full for pets)

•Strawberry Crest High School, 4691 Gallagher Road, Dover (special needs only)

•Summerfield Crossings Elementary School, 11050 Fairway Meadow Road, Valrico

These shelters opened this morning are now FULL:

•Brandon High School, 1101 Victoria Street, Brandon

•Burnett Middle School, 1010 N Kingsway Road, Seffner

•Cypress Creek Elementary School, 400 19th Ave NE, Ruskin

•Greco Middle School, 6925 East Fowler Ave, Temple Terrace

•Middleton High School, 4801 N 22nd Street, Tampa

•Pizzo Elementary School, 11701 Bull Run, Tampa

•Shields Middle School, 15732 Beth Shields Ways, Ruskin (pet-friendly)

•Simmons Career Center, 1202 W Grant Street, Plant City

•Smith, Sgt. Paul Middle School, 14303 Citrus Pointe Drive, Tampa (pet-friendly)

•SunDome at USF, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa (special needs only)

•Valrico Elementary School, 609 South Miller Road, Valrico

Special-needs shelters are only for residents with medical issues that require electricity assistance or cognitive issues that would not be supported in a general population shelter.

Residents should bring only essential items including: blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, and air mattresses; clothing and toiletries; prescriptions; special dietary foods and favorite snacks; diapers, bottles, and other baby supplies; important paperwork in a waterproof container. Cards, books, and games can help pass the time, especially for young children.

Residents bringing pets to a pet-friendly shelter must bring a sturdy carrier for each pet that allows room for the pet to stand up and move around, as well as a collar with a leash, and supplies for each pet to last seven days. More information on how residents can prepare their pets can be found at

Residents can confirm evacuation zones and register for HCFL Alert, Hillsborough County’s official public notification system, at or by calling (813) 272-5900.

HART Evacuation Routes

Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) is running evacuation routes until 7 p.m. today. Visit for additional information.

Get Connected. Stay Alert.

Make sure to have a plan. Residents and visitors are encouraged to register for HCFL Alert, Hillsborough County’s official public notification system for emergency and urgent alerts. To receive messages by email, phone, and text, go to For more information, call (813) 272-5900.




Public Works transitioning to pre-storm preparations

Sandbag operations concluded

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Sept. 8, 2017) –  Hillsborough County Public Works has transitioned to pre-storm preparations and maintenance in advance of expected flooding from Hurricane Irma. Sandbag operations have concluded at all seven Hillsborough County locations as of 10 p.m. Friday night.

Shelter Openings
On Saturday at 8 a.m., Hillsborough County will open additional shelters for residents in Evacuation Zone A whose homes are vulnerable to storm surge and flooding, and for manufactured homes that are susceptible to wind damage. A list of shelters can be found at

Two shelters are currently open to accommodate special-needs residents only in Evacuation Zone A at:

  • Strawberry Crest High School, 4691 Gallagher Road in Dover
  • SunDome at USF, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa

The special-needs shelters are only for residents with medical issues that require electricity assistance or cognitive issues that would not be supported in a general population shelter.

Residents can confirm evacuation zones and register for HCFL Alert, Hillsborough County’s official public notification system, at or by calling (813) 272-5900.

HART Evacuation Routes
Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) to run evacuation routes only on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visit for additional information.

Businesses Prepare for Hurricane Irma
Business owners are reminded to gather vital financial records for safekeeping before a hurricane strikes. In order to successfully access emergency loans, have bank and financial records ready. For more information on the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, visit

Businesses may also sign up for Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC) to receive up to date storm-related information. Businesses will also be able to use FLVBEOC to fill out Damage Assessment Reports and post hours of operation during the storm.  To sign up, visit

Get Connected. Stay Alert.
Make sure to have a plan. Residents and visitors are encouraged to register for HCFL Alert, Hillsborough County’s official public notification system for emergency and urgent alerts. To receive messages by email, phone, and text, go to For more information, call (813) 272-5900.



For Immediate Release
Media Contact: 
Kara Walker

Communications & Digital Media
(813) 277-1600


Additional Hillsborough County Sandbag Locations Announced; All Sandbag Locations Open Thursday


Hillsborough County, Fla. (Sept. 6, 2017) – In preparation for Hurricane Irma, Hillsborough County will open four additional sandbag sites at 2 p.m. today. All locations will be open until 8 p.m. today and tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents and visitors are urged to follow their emergency plan and make preparations.

EOC Status
The County has activated its Emergency Operations Center to allow County and partner agencies to better coordinate resources and operations.

Sandbags are now available at seven County Public Works Service Units until 8 p.m. today and tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. as weather permits.

  • West Service Unit – 9805 Sheldon Road in Tampa
  • South Service Unit –  8718 Old Big Bend Road in Gibsonton
  • East Service Unit – 4702 Sydney Road in Plant City
  • Ed Radice Park – 14720 Ed Radice Drive in Tampa
  • South County Community Collection Center  – 13000 US Highway 41 in Gibsonton
  • Hillsborough Heights Community Collection Center – 6209 CR 579 in Seffner
  • Central Service Unit – 4115 South 66th Street in Tampa


Materials will be available for Hillsborough County residents to make their own sandbags. Residents are encouraged to bring their own shovels to prepare the sandbags. Each resident must sign their name and provide their home address acknowledging the receipt of 25 sandbags per household or less. For instructions on how to use sandbags properly, go to


  • Hillsborough County Public Schools have announced closures for Thursday, Sept. 7 and Friday, Sept. 8. For information, contact Hillsborough County Public Schools at (813) 272-4000.
  • All Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library events have been cancelled Friday, Sept. 8 through Tuesday, Sept. 12.


Shelters and Evacuations
Hillsborough County has not opened any shelters or issued any evacuations at this time.

Consumer Protection
Hillsborough County reminds residents and visitors to be mindful of businesses or individuals engaging in price gouging. Reports should be made by contacting the Attorney General’s hotline at (866) 966-7226, or by filing a complaint with Hillsborough County at

The State of Florida’s price gouging law prohibits extreme consumer cost increases in essential commodities such as food, fuel, ice, hotels, lumber, and water. Unlicensed contractors also face additional charges, and protections remain in effect for the duration of the declared emergency.

For more information, contact Hillsborough County Consumer & Veterans Services at (813) 635-8316.

Trash, Recycling, and Yard Waste Collection
Curbside trash, recycling, and yard waste collection for County customers will continue while weather conditions permit.

Take garbage and recycling items that will not fit in your carts to one of the designated Community Collection Centers (CCC)* located at:

  • Alderman’s Ford CCC – 9402 County Road 39 in Plant City
  • Hillsborough Heights CCC – 6209 County Road 579 in Seffner
  • Northwest County CCC – 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave in Tampa
  • South County CCC – 13000 US Highway 41 in Gibsonton

*Bring a copy of your recent tax bill and photo ID

The County’s Yard Waste Processing Collection Sites accept residential bulk yard waste material. There is no charge to access the centers. Bring a photo ID and current property tax bill showing the Solid Waste collection and disposal assessments.

The Yard Waste Processing Collection Sites are open Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Northwest – 8001 W. Linebaugh Ave. in Tampa
  • South County – 13000 U.S. 41 in Gibsonton
  • Resource Recovery Facility – 350 N. Falkenburg Road in Tampa

For more information, call (813) 272-5900.

Get Connected. Stay Alert.
Make sure to have a plan. Residents and visitors are encouraged to register for HCFL Alert, Hillsborough County’s official public notification system for emergency and urgent alerts. To receive messages by email, phone, and text, go to





Access the official Disaster Planning Guide for the 2017 Hurricane Season:

(Hover and scroll down to view guide, or expand by clicking on the upper right corner)



Then watch this video to learn how to “Get Ready!” for a storm:


Watch Commissioner Murman welcome residents to this year’s Hurricane Expo at Westshore Mall by clicking on this video:


This year’s annual hurricane expo is going to be great! It would not be possible without the support and hard work of Hillsborough County staff. I look forward to seeing everyone this Saturday June 3rd at the new expo location, West Shore Plaza, from 11am – 3pm.






Watch Sandy’s PSA for Hurricane Season:

For Sandbag Availability throughout Hillsborough County, Click Here: Stay Safe



To see a copy of Sandy’s Hurricane Special Edition newsletter click here:  Special Hurricane Edition 2016



Here is some helpful information on the 2017 Hurricane Season



Get Ready!

The most important thing that you can do is to be informed and prepared! Disaster prevention includes both being prepared as well as being safe. So Get Ready!

Disaster Prevention should include:

One of the most important decisions you will have to make is “Should I Evacuate?”

If you are asked to evacuate, you should do so without delay.But unless you live in a coastal or low-lying area, an area that floods frequently, or in manufactured housing, it is unlikely that emergency managers will ask you to evacuate. That means that it is important for you and your family to HAVE A PLAN that makes you as safe as possible in your home.

Disaster prevention includes modifying your home to strengthen it against storms so that you can be as safe as possible. It also includes having the supplies on hand to weather the storm. The suggestions provided here are only guides. You should use common sense in your disaster prevention.

  • DEVELOP A FAMILY PLAN – Your family’s plan should be based on your vulnerability to the Hurricane Hazards. You should keep a written plan and share your plan with other friends or family.
  • CREATE A DISASTER SUPPLY KIT – There are certain items you need to have regardless of where you ride out a hurricane. The disaster supply kit is a useful tool when you evacuate as well as making you as safe as possible in your home.
  • SECURE YOUR HOME – There are things that you can do to make your home more secure and able to withstand stronger storms.
  • ONLINE VULNERABILITY INFOThere are web sites that can give you information about your communities vulnerability to specific hazards. These include hurricanes as well as other weather related hazards.


Discuss the type of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home’s vulnerability to storm surge, flooding and wind.

  • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard. In certain circumstances the safest areas may not be your home but within your community.
  • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet. These should be measured in tens of miles rather than hundreds of miles.
  • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
  • Check your insurance coverage – flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Use a NOAA weather radio. Remember to replace its battery every 6 months, as you do with your smoke detectors.
  • Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

Have a Supply Kit!

Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days
– non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
– foods for infants or the elderly
– snack foods
– non-electric can opener
– cooking tools / fuel
– paper plates / plastic utensils

Blankets / Pillows, etc.

Clothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes

First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Special Items – for babies and the elderly

Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

Flashlight / Batteries

Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

Telephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set

Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods


Toys, Books and Games

Important documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag

– insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.

Tools – keep a set with you during the storm

Vehicle fuel tanks filled

Pet care items – proper identification / immunization records / medications

– ample supply of food and water

– a carrier or cage

– muzzle and lease

Find a Place to Go!

Develop a family hurricane preparedness plan before an actual storm threatens your area.
If your family hurricane preparedness plan includes evacuation to a safer location for any of the reasons specified with in this web site, then it is important to consider the following points:

If ordered to evacuate, do not wait or delay your departure.
If possible, leave before local officials issue an evacuation order for your area. Even a slight delay in starting your evacuation will result in significantly longer travel times as traffic congestion worsens.

Select an evacuation destination that is nearest to your home, preferably in the same county, or at least minimize the distance over which you must travel in order to reach your intended shelter location.
In choosing your destination, keep in mind that the hotels and other sheltering options in most inland metropolitan areas are likely to be filled very quickly in a large, multi-county hurricane evacuation event.

If you decide to evacuate to another county or region, be prepared to wait in traffic.
The large number of people in this state who must evacuate during a hurricane will probably cause massive delays and major congestion along most designated evacuation routes; the larger the storm, the greater the probability of traffic jams and extended travel times.

If possible, make arrangements to stay with the friend or relative who resides closest to your home and who will not have to evacuate. Discuss with your intended host the details of your family evacuation plan well before the beginning of the hurricane season.

If a hotel or motel is your final intended destination during an evacuation, make reservations before you leave.
Most hotel and motels will fill quickly once evacuations begin. The longer you wait to make reservations, even if an official evacuation order has not been issued for your area or county, the less likely you are to find hotel/motel room vacancies, especially along interstate highways and in major metropolitan areas.

If you are unable to stay with friends or family and no hotels/motels rooms are available, then as a last resort go to a shelter. Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort and do not usually accept pets.  Bring your disaster supply kit with you to the shelter. Find Pet-Friendly hotels and motels.

Make sure that you fill up your car with gas, before you leave.

Make Your Home Secure!

RETROFITTING YOUR HOME The most important precaution you can take to reduce damage to your home and property is to protect the areas where wind can enter. According to recent wind technology research, it’s important to strengthen the exterior of your house so wind and debris do not tear large openings in it. You can do this by protecting and reinforcing these five critical areas:


A great time to start securing – or retrofitting – your house is when you are making other improvements or adding an addition.

Remember: building codes reflect the lessons experts have learned from past catastrophes. Contact the local building code official to find out what requirements are necessary for your home improvement projects.

FLOOD INSURANCEThe National Flood Insurance Program, is a pre-disaster flood mitigation and insurance protection program designed to reduce the escalating cost of disasters. The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to residents and business owners

Flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.  Do not make assumptions.  Check your policy.

National Flood Insurance Program call  1-888-CALL-FLOOD ext. 445, TDD# 1-800-427-5593.

Have a Pet Plan!




Contact your veterinarian or local humane society for information on preparing your pets for an emergency.


  • Make sure that your pets are current on their vaccinations.  Pet shelters may require proof of vaccines.
  • Have a current photograph
  • Keep a collar with identification on your pet and have a leash on hand to control your pet.
  • Have a properly-sized pet carrier for each animal – carriers should be large enough for the animal to stand  and turn around.
  • Plan your evacuation strategy and don’t forget your pet!  Specialized pet shelters, animal control shelters, veterinary clinics and friends and relatives out of harm’s way are ALL potential refuges for your pet during a disaster.

If you plan to shelter your pet – work it into your evacuation route planning.

  • ·Animals brought to a pet shelter are required to have:  Proper identification collar and rabies tag, proper identification on all belongings, a carrier or cage, a leash, an ample supply of food, water and food bowls, any necessary medications, specific care instructions and news papers or trash bags for clean-up.
  • ·Bring pets indoor well in advance of a storm – reassure them and remain calm.
  • ·Pet shelters will be filled on first come, first served basis.  Call ahead and determine availability.


  • Walk pets on a leash until they become re-oriented to their home – often familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and pets could easily be confused and become lost.  Also, downed power lines, reptiles brought in with high water and debris can all pose a threat for animals after a disaster.
  • If pets cannot be found after a disaster, contact the local animal control office to find out where lost animals can be recovered.  Bring along a picture of your pet if possible.
  • After a disaster animals can become aggressive or defensive – monitor their behavior.

Don’t forget your pet when preparing a family disaster plan.


· Proper identification including immunization records
· Ample supply of food and water
· A carrier or cage
· Medications
· Muzzle, collar and leash


Contact Information for Hillsborough County!

PET RESOURCES – (813) 744-5660






HIGHWAY PATROL– (813) 632-6859


HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY INFOLINE TTY– (813) 301-7173 or (813) 272-5900


SOLID WASTE– (813) 272-5680


SHERIFF– (813) 247-8200




TECO TO REPORT POWER OUTAGES– (813) 223-0800 or (877) 588-1010




AMERICAN RED CROSS– (813) 348-4820


CATHOLIC CHARITIES– (813) 631-4370


SALVATION ARMY (813) 226-0055


UNITED WAY– (813) 274-0900


211 REFERRAL LINE– 2-1-1