Active storms in the Caribbean and Atlantic are an urgent reminder to plan, prepare and stay informed
September is National Preparedness Month and marks the start of peak hurricane season. With a major hurricane, a powerful tropical storm in the Atlantic and a storm in the Caribbean, now is the time to prepare.
While there haven’t been any storms directly threatening Hillsborough County so far this season, this is not the time to let your guard down.
If you’re already prepared for a hurricane, go ahead and stay informed and stay alert. If you are not ready, act now. Hurricane season lasts until November 30.
The most important step you can take is to stay alert Sign up for the Hillsborough County HCFL Alert System, which provides emergency alerts for severe weather, hurricane evacuations, and flood warnings. HCFL Alert also provides Hillsborough County information about major road closures, county events, county closures, and more.
Here are five important steps to take now to prepare for hurricanes:
Step One: Make a Plan
Having a plan for each scenario is the best way to reduce risk in the event of a disaster. Where do you go if you have to evacuate? What should you do if you are sheltering in place? What about your job? What should you pack and be ready? What’s in Your Disaster Toolkit? Plans should be specific to each family or company. visit stay safe page Review the Hillsborough County Disaster Guidelines and see other tools you can use to help develop a plan. The Florida Department of Emergency Management It has additional information and resources.
Step Two: Prepare the supplies
Stock your disaster supply kit with non-perishable food, pet supplies, batteries, flashlights, and water. The supply kit should contain enough supplies to last at least seven days for each individual and each pet in your group. The kit can also include important documents, such as bank information, medical records, and copies of birth and marriage certificates. visit stay safe page Or the Florida Department of Emergency Management Disaster Resource Toolkit Checklist Page To learn more.
Step 3: Know your area
Learn and understand the difference between evacuation and flood zones. Evacuation areas are areas that you may be required to evacuate during a storm, and indicate areas that can be affected by storm surge. Flood zones indicate a property’s risk of flooding throughout the year. Use the tools on stay safe page To find evacuation and flood zones in Hillsborough County. Also, take time to prep your property by cleaning out rain gutters and drainpipes, trimming limbs and shrubs, and removing trees with rotting stumps located near the house. Learn more by visiting the Florida Department of Emergency Management Planning and preparation page.
Step 4: Protect your family
Make sure your preparation plan and checklist meet the needs of your children and elderly relatives, including specialty foods, clothing, medications, and other specific items designed just for them. And don’t forget the pets. They are part of the family and will need food, medicine, and other necessities to weather the uncertainty of a storm just like everyone else in the family. Learn more about stay safe page Florida Department of Emergency Management Planning and preparation page.
Step 5: Review your plan
Review your preparedness plan and all the preparations you have made with your loved ones. By making a plan that includes your children, elderly family members, pets, and disaster supply kits, and reviewing your evacuation zone and roads, you’ll be prepared for the rest of this hurricane season.