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Hurricane Prep Guide: Tips, Resources, and More in Tampa Bay

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While hurricane season officially runs June 1–November 30, it’s best to plan ahead. We’ve pulled some helpful tips from great local resources like the City of Tampa to help you stay safe and prepare for the worst.

From emergency supply recommendations to local news sources, this is your guide to pre-hurricane prep.

📷 City of Tampa

Supplies/Resources

Stocking up on supplies is important if you plan on safely riding out a storm from home. The City of Tampa has a great list of recommended supplies and tips on building a supply kit.

  • Get together a Basic Disaster Supply Kit
    • Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
    • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
    • Flashlight
    • First aid kit
    • Extra batteries
    • Whistle (to signal for help)
    • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
    • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
    • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
    • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
    • Manual can opener (for food)
    • Local maps
    • Cell phone with chargers/portable battery banks
  • Additional Emergency Supplies
    • Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:
    • Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
    • Prescription medications
    • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
    • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
    • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
    • Pet food and extra water for your pet
    • Cash or traveler’s checks
    • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
    • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
    • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Matches in a waterproof container
    • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
    • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
    • Paper and pencil
    • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Fill up your gas tank or a gas can when storm watches are issued in case of power outages
  • If possible, move car to a higher up parking garage, or move away from any body of water or large trees/objects
  • See if you’re in a Flood Zone here
  • Get planning with the Disaster Preparedness Guide

Prep Your Home

If you’re staying home or want to make sure your house is well protected as you seek shelter somewhere else, here are some tips to prep your home before a hurricane.

  • Move all outdoor furniture and/or plants indoors (anything that can be picked up by wind)
  • Board up windows if necessary (homes near water) 
  • Have an evacuation plan with friends/family
  • Keep a large cooler stored in your home incase of long power outages (move fridge items to cooler!)
  • Turn your refrigerator/freezer to the coolest setting
  • Trim your trees/shrubbery that are near or touching your home
  • Unplug electronics (even if you have a surge protector)
  • Make a plan ahead of time for your pets (dogs, cats, etc.)

Local News Sources

Local news sources are essential for information before, during, and after a storm. Check out these sources to stay updated on what’s going on in the Tampa Bay area.

Drive-Thru/Locations Offering Safety Kits/Supplies

  • Pick up Sandbags 
    • Hillsborough County residents are eligible for a maximum of 10 sandbags per family. Residents must show ID verifying they live in the County; a driver’s license or utility bill will serve as proper identification. Residents can call (813) 272-5900 to request additional information or visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe.

Emergency Contact Information

Electric Power Outage or Safety Concern (TECO 24 hrs):
  • Emergency Drainage/Flooding  (24 hours) : 813-274-3101
Tree Hotline/Emergency:
  • Illegal Tree Removal (24 hours): 813-258-8733
  • Fallen Tree (business hours 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM): 813-274-5744
  • Fallen Tree (after hours 5:00 PM to Midnight): 813-931-2168
  • Fallen Tree (after hours Midnight to 8:000 AM): 813-274-3101
McKennan Henninger

McKennan Henninger

McKennan is a UNATION team member and author of the Stuff to Do City Guide. For more insight on the best events and things to do near you, subscribe to our text and email, and follow us on social!

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