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  • Writer's pictureAnne Nymark Team

Are you Ready for Storm Season?

Updated: Oct 28, 2018

Have a disaster plan and stay informed.

It's never too early or too late for Hillsborough County residents to prepare for a major storm. Before a tropical system heads our way, know your evacuation zone, develop a departure plan, and build a supply kit. Learn how to secure your home and business, and sign up for real-time emergency alerts to ensure your family stays informed.

Here’s 9 tips every Hillsborough County resident should keep in mind when preparing a hurricane safety plan or checklist for their families, homes, and businesses:

  1. Have a plan: Compile a plan that touches on all likely needs, from acquiring sandbags to confirming where you will go during an evacuation and how you will get there. Share your efforts with family members.

  2. Register for alerts: HCFL Alert is Hillsborough County’s official mass notification system, and is designed to keep residents and visitors informed about emergencies. Register or update your contact information to ensure that you receive alerts in real time.

  3. Know your zone: The Hurricane Evacuation Assessment Tool (HEAT) assists residents, visitors, and businesses in determining if they are in one of the five evacuation zones. Search evacuation information by owner name, address, or parcel using HEAT.

  4. Pack an evacuation kit: Prepare a supply kit that meets your family’s needs. Generally, everyone’s kit should have water, food, any necessary medication, personal hygiene items, important papers, changes of clothing and footwear, blankets or sleeping bags, a battery-powered radio and flashlight, a first-aid kit, and cash. 

  5. Prepare your pets: Have a plan in place for your pets should you need to evacuate to a shelter. Make sure you bring necessary supplies for your pet, including a pet carrier, food, medications, and proof of current rabies vaccination and registration tag.

  6. Register for Special Needs Disaster Assistance: Residents with special needs, seniors, and those without transportation can register for Hillsborough County programs in place to help these individuals prepare and find safe shelter and transportation. 

  7. Get your property storm-ready: Hurricanes and intense thunderstorms can cause serious damage. Take steps to get your residence or property ready for hurricanes and other inclement weather. 

  8. Help your business weather the storm: Protect your business by taking advantage of no-cost expert consultation form the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County on how to minimize losses and increase business survivability when affected by hurricanes and other disasters.

  9. Stay Informed: Follow Hillsborough County’s official social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter to receive official information and updates during emergencies. Hillsborough County residents who use Nextdoor are encouraged to review their email, text message, and urgent alerts notification settings within the app to ensure they receive important weather-related messages.

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