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Hurricane and Severe Weather Information

Hurricane and Severe Weather Information Resources for Pinellas County

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Official Sites:  Emergency Management
 Disaster Preparedness
 Hurricane Prep Handbook


Prepare for a Storm

Latest Storm Data
Things NOT to do

 Advance Preperations
Medications, Pets, Inventories...

 Storm Watch Checklist

 Storm Warning Checklist

Evacuation Checklist

For Boaters

How to Fortify Your Home
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Important phone numbers and websites

Pinellas County Emergency Management:  (727) 464-3800


Find your evacuation level:  (727) 453-3150




Official county siteEvacuation Map
Official county site Evacuation Shelters

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Hurricane Watch Checklist Hurricane Warning Checklist Evacuation Checklist
  • Make sure your vehicles are filled with gas. If the storm disrupts electric power, gas pumps won't work.

  • Get cash, including a roll of quarters. After a storm, ATMs may not function and businesses may not be able to process credit cards.

  • Make sure prescriptions are filled and you have enough medicine to last a week or more.

  • Check your survival kit and make any last-minute purchases you might have overlooked.

  • Make sure your important documents such as deeds, stock and bond certificates, insurance policies, legal papers and other paperwork are in a safe, waterproof container. Include photographs or videotape of your valuables for possible insurance claims.

  • Monitor weather reports by television or radio.

  • Begin to bring in or secure small, loose objects outside.

  • Make sure cellphones and other rechargeable appliances such as some types of flashlights are fully charged.

  • If you have a gas grill, fill the propane tank for cooking after the storm if the power is lost.

    If the storm continues its approach, a hurricane warning will be issued. This means the hurricane is expected within 24 hours. This is the time to begin battening down the house. There is no assurance you will have the full 24 hours before conditions deteriorate.
  • Put shutters on windows. You will want to do this as soon as possible because as winds increase it becomes difficult to handle sheets of plywood or metal.

  • Move inside anything left in the yard that can be blown around, such as garbage cans, furniture, bird feeders, potted plants, lumber or lawn ornaments. It's OK to throw plastic or metal patio furniture in the pool.

    Even small items hurled by 120 mph winds can become deadly projectiles or shatter a window. If you have a wooden picnic table, turn it upside down.

  • If you don't move your gas grill indoors, remove the propane tank.

  • Cover the pool pump filter and super-chlorinate the pool.

  • If you haven't filled water containers, do it now while the municipal water or your well still work.

  • Set your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings. Since a full freezer stays cold longer, you can fill some containers with water. In addition to helping the freezer remain cold if power goes out, the ice can be useful after the storm.

  • Continue to monitor the storm's progress and listen for local warnings from emergency officials.

  • If you have a boat on a trailer, tie it down or move it inside.

  • Put any vehicles you can in the garage.

  • Fill sinks and bathtubs to provide a supply of water for washing and other uses besides cooking and drinking.
  • Take your hurricane survival kit with you.

  • Decide where you intend to go, and plan your main route and alternates. Make sure someone outside the area knows where you will go. If you will stay with family or friends, make those arrangements.

  • Gather vital documents such as deeds, insurance papers, birth certificates, stocks and bonds, legal papers, credit card and bank account numbers, and immunization records, and keep these in a secure, waterproof container. Include photos, videotape or other record of your valuables for insurance purposes.

  • In the same or similar container, put photos and other family items impossible to replace.

  • Assemble your evacuation kit, which should include: Maps for your destination and contact phone numbers; small hand tools such as wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers; a battery-operated radio and spare batteries; flashlights for every family member and extra batteries; a manual can opener and utility knife; diapers, formula, baby food, bottles, medicine; personal hygiene items; canned and ready-to-eat food; rain gear for each family members; pet food and cat litter because you should not leave pets home alone during a hurricane; a spare set of house and car keys; soap and liquid detergent.

  • In addition, you should take these items, which can be kept in a covered plastic trash container, duffle bags or backpacks: pillows, blankets or sleeping bags; a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses; prescription medication; quiet games and books; the container with your personal documents and family keepsakes.
Before leaving home:
  • Get cash and some change since banks and ATMs may might not be open or working.

  • Gas up your Fill your vehicles with gas.

  • Secure your home by boarding windows and anchoring or bringing inside loose items in the yard.

  • When you leave, lock doors and turn off electricity and gas if instructed to do so by emergency officials.

  • Unplug major appliances and electronics like televisions and computers.

  • Let your contact out of the area know you are leaving and where you are going. Have that person be your family contact should you be separated.

  • Cover your pool filter and pump, and super-chlorinate the pool.


Things NOT to do

There are things you shouldn't do in times of hurricanes because they are myths, dangerous or a waste of time. For instance:

* Don't tape windows. Tape does almost no good - and it's a mess to remove.

* Don't open a window away from the wind direction. Any opening can allow wind inside the home, and the wind can shift.

* Don't go near windows or glass patio doors during a storm.

* Don't empty an in-ground pool. The water table can rise from the rain and force the pool up, perhaps out of the ground.

* Don't use candles for light if the power goes off. The danger of fire is too great.

* Don't use a charcoal or gas grill to cook indoors.

* Don't approach animals wandering after the storm. Even docile pets can be unnerved by a storm and could bite.

* Don't connect a generator directly to your home's electric system. It can electrify lines outside and endanger neighbors and utility workers.

* Don't drive through moving water over a road. Even six inches of flowing water can cause a car to float.

* If returning after an evacuation, don't stay in the house if you smell gas. Open windows and leave.

* Don't let your pets out after the storm without a leash. With landmarks gone, they can get lost and perhaps encounter displaced wild animals.

* Don't sightsee in damaged neighborhoods.

* Don't stay after an evacuation is ordered. Rescue workers will not try to reach you at the height of the storm.

* Don't bring guns, alcohol or pets to a public shelter.

* Don't touch metal fences after a storm. They could be touching downed power lines.




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