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During Hurricane Preparedness Week, Hillsborough County encourages residents to take ACTION!

Emergency checklist, flashlight, radio, water bottles, and a first aid kit on a table, suggesting disaster preparedness.
Ready , Set, Prep

May 6, 2024

Ninety-degree temperatures and a spike in humidity means hurricane season is just around the corner. Water temperatures in the Atlantic are abnormally warm, and the La Niña weather pattern is on the rise - Meteorologists are predicting a potentially active season.

Hurricane season kicks off June 1, and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue's Division of Emergency Management is prepared to help keep residents safe.

This month, get ready with Hillsborough County's top 10 preparedness tips:

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.

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.

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 vital supplies ready when Hillsborough County authorities say its time to go.

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. When a watch (conditions possible within 48 hours) or warning (conditions expected within 36 hours) is in effect, turn to HCFL Alert.

Visit Hillsborough County's [StaySafe page]( The 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.

Fortify your surroundings and pack a "go" bag. Before hurricane season officially begins, ensure windows and doors are secure and trees are trimmed. Have a supply of plywood, steel, or aluminum panels ready to go. Pack a go bag with meds and supplies and always have gas tanks at least half full in case evacuation orders are issued.

Help your neighbors collect supplies and make a plan before a storm, assist with evacuating if ordered, and check on them after conditions are deemed safe. Hurricane season is an important time to be a good neighbor.

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? Can you evacuate to a friend or family member with your pet? Which shelters are pet friendly? Have a plan A, B, and C.

Stay protected during and after storms. When a storm is active, stay inside and away from windows. When the storm has passed and it is safe to go outside, stay away from downed power lines. Avoid walking or driving through flooded water. If using a generator, ensure that it is at least 20 feet away from your home.

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.

Get Connected. Stay Alert. And take ACTION.

Posted: 5/6/2024, 4:16:06 PM

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