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2017 Hurricane preparedness guide

Evacuation maps, shelter locations

If a storm comes, you'll need to know how to get out of town or go to a shelter. Know your county's evacuation routes. Might there be a low-lying area between you and a major route? Study up in advance and have a backup plan. (Note: Some of the maps take a while to load, and it's recommended that you have an updated version of Adobe Flash to display them.)

 

Surviving the storm

Before a storm threatens Tampa Bay, you'll want to be prepared. If a storm strikes, you'll want to get out of town, or to a shelter. And after the storm, you'll want to survive. Find out how inside the hurricane guide published in print editions of the Tampa Bay Times.

  1. To test for climate disasters, like hurricanes: build stuff, then blow it apart

    Hurricanes

    WEST GLOCESTER, R.I. — In the backwoods of Rhode Island, a team of researchers spends whole days trying to destroy things: setting boxes on fire, shattering chunks of ice, hurling debris through the air at hurricane speed.

  2. Keys residents burn hurricane flags to mark end of season

    Hurricanes

    KEY WEST — Florida Keys residents have doused hurricane flags in rum and burned them to mark the end of the tumultuous 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Mary Martin, left, watches intently as the last of two burning hurricane warning flags set on fire drops to the ground to symbolize the end of the 2017 Atlantic Basin hurricane season Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, in Key West, Fla. The ceremony came after a turbulent 2017 season that included three major hurricanes -- Harvey, Irma and Maria -- that pummeled parts of the U.S. and Puerto Rico. [Rob O'Neal | Florida Keys News Bureau via AP]
  3. So long, 2017 hurricane season, and good riddance

    Hurricanes

    Six months ago, forecasters predicted the 2017 hurricane season would be just below average.

    They were wrong.

    Hurricane Irma moves towards the Florida coast as a Category 4 storm in the Caribbean Sea Sept. 8. Scientists say that a perfect mix of meteorological conditions conspired to make the storm unusually large and powerful. [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via the New York Times]
  4. For family living near Withlacoochee, Irma took memories, hope for future

    Hurricanes

    Heather Gibson credits the Withlacoochee River for most of her childhood joys. Having grown up just steps from its banks, she remembers sunny afternoons spent biking trails and exploring swimming holes near her parents' home in Talisman Estates.

    Heather Gibson’s home sits in water after Hurricane Irma and the extreme flooding of the Withlacoochee River.
  5. Hernando County still learning the lessons of Hurricane Irma

    Hurricanes

    BROOKSVILLE — When Irma blew through Hernando County as a Category 1 hurricane Sept. 10 and 11, the storm left behind more than $763,310 in damage, from the initial destructive winds and the subsequent flooding along the Withlacoochee River that came days later.

    Some residents have been frustrated by the pace of cleanup after the storm.
  6. Report: Florida company fails on $30 million contract for Hurricane Maria help

    Hurricanes

    WASHINGTON — After Hurricane Maria damaged tens of thousands of homes in Puerto Rico, a newly created Florida company with an unproven record won more than $30 million in contracts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide emergency tarps and plastic sheeting for repairs.

     Damaged homes in the La Perla neighborhood the day after Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 21, 2017 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The majority of the island has lost power, in San Juan many are left without running water or cell phone service, and the Governor said Maria is the "most devastating storm to hit the island this century." [Alex Wroblewski | Getty Images]
  7. Nursing home tells Congress Irma deaths not staff's fault

    Hurricanes

    FORT LAUDERDALE — A Florida nursing home under investigation for the deaths of 13 patients after Hurricane Irma says in a letter to Congress that staff members did everything possible but couldn't overcome a lack of power to the central air conditioning system.

    A woman is transported Sept. 13 from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, three days after air conditioning was lost.
  8. Two months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico struggles to regain electricity, thousands flee

    Hurricanes

    ANASCO, Puerto Rico — The lights remain off in bustling cities and in small rural villages. Gas generators, the only alternative to the downed power lines that seem to be everywhere, continuously hum outside hospitals and bodegas. When night falls, it's the glow of car lights, not streetlights, that helps break …

    Puerto Ricans still struggling after Hurricane Maria receive supplies this month in the La Perla neighborhood of San Juan. 
  9. As Irma flooded Alafia homes, Swiftmud sent more water their way

    Hurricanes

    LITHIA — Having lived along the Alafia River all his life, Mike Cribbs has seen plenty of floods.

    Mary Lyons a victim of recent flooding of the Alafia River,  now lives out of a tent outside her home because the mold in her home makes her feel sick.  She and other residents are questioning a decision by the Southwest Florida Water Management District to open gates at the Medard Reservoir during Hurricane Irma, adding to the flooding.  [GABRIELLA ANGOTTI-JONES  | Times]
  10. Tropical Storm Rina forms in Atlantic; no threat to land

    Hurricanes

    MIAMI — Tropical Storm Rina has formed far out in the Atlantic Ocean where it poses no immediate threat to land.

    [National Hurricane Center]
  11. At Pasco fairgrounds, an easier time getting Irma relief

    Hurricanes

    DADE CITY — The day Florida launched its Hurricane Irma emergency food benefits program, David and Deidre Edwards were among the first to sign up. Not only did the family lose all their food in the five-day power outage that followed the storm, but Deidre Edwards also lost her cleaning job.

    The "Food for Florida" disaster recovery distribution center at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City has distributed federal Supplemental Food Assistance Program "D-SNAP" cards to about 12,500 households on Sunday and Monday. Each households received several hundreds dollars in aid because of Hurricane Irma. 
[ANASTASIA DAWSON  |  Times]
  12. Tropical Depression 19 forms, has small chance of becoming last-season hurricane

    Hurricanes

    A late-season tropical depression has formed in the open Atlantic and has a remote chance of developing into a late-season hurricane.

    A late-season tropical depression has formed in the open Atlantic and has a remote chance of developing into a late-season hurricane. [National Hurricane Center]