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Palms in the storm

What do You Need to do to Get Ready and Stay Safe?

Be prepared for storm season

Hillsborough County's Office of Emergency Management is prepared to help keep residents safe no matter what the disaster. Whether the threat is man-made or a natural hazard such as lightning, tornado, wildfire, flood, a pandemic, hurricane or other tropical storm, preparedness is key to reacting and recovering from a disaster.

Take the following actions to get ready:

  1. Determine your risk. An important first step for all residents is to determine risk, as hurricanes are not just coastal disasters. The impacts of wind and water can be felt for hundreds of miles, and knowing a location's vulnerability is vital.
  2. Understand evacuation zones and develop an evacuation plan. Hillsborough County has multiple evacuation zones. Flood zones and evacuation zones are not the same. For example, some areas that are not in a hurricane evacuation zone are prone to flooding, therefore evacuation becomes necessary. Do you know your flood zone and evacuation zone? Now is the time to look them up.
  3. Assemble an evacuation kit. Learn how to pack for anything. Remember to account for all family members and especially people with special needs. Have all of the vital supplies ready when authorities say it's time to go.
  4. Get an insurance check-up. Now is a good time to call insurance companies and verify that your policies are up to date, coverage is adequate, and there are no surprises. Homeowner's and renter's insurance policies do not cover flooding; a separate policy will be needed.
  5. Fortify your surroundings. Ensure windows and doors are secure and trees are trimmed. Have a supply of plywood, steel, or aluminum panels ready to go.
  6. Have a written plan. Now is the time to write down a hurricane plan. Where is an evacuation destination or destinations? What are the most important phone numbers to have at the ready? Where will supplies be stored? Have a pet? Which shelters are pet friendly? Have a plan A, B, and C.

Hillsborough County's Stay Safe page has everything residents and families need to know about disaster preparedness. Residents can find their evacuation and flood zones, learn how to prepare their homes, pack a disaster kit, and more.

Sign up for HCFL Alert, Hillsborough County's official mass notification system. HCFL Alert is designed to keep you informed about local emergencies, everyday events, and county news that's important to you.

Get Connected. Stay Alert.

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