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2016 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. No, it's too early! Arlene, the season's first tropical storm, forms far from land


    MIAMI — A rare April tropical storm has formed over the north Atlantic.

    A satellite image from the National Hurricane Center shows the first depression of the 2017 hurricane season far out in the Atlantic.
  2. First 2017 hurricane forecast calls for below-average season, 11 named storms


    The first hurricane forecast of 2017 from Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science calls for a slightly below average season and 11 named storms this year.

    This GOES East satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Matthew moving northwest along the east coast of Florida on Oct. 6, 2016. The first hurricane forecast of 2017 from Colorado State University calls for a slightly below average season this year with 11 named storms. (NOAA via AP)
  3. National Hurricane Center rolls out new look for 'cone of uncertainty'


    As storm forecasters have grown more certain over the years about the potential path a hurricane will take, the popular "cone of uncertainty" used in models has grown smaller. But widespread misunderstanding …

    George Thornton inspects damage to the Mantanzas Innlet Restaurant  in St. Augustine, after last year's Hurricane Matthew raked Florida's east coast. The National Hurricane Center has announced some new products for the 2017 hurricane season.  DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times

  4. A month after Hurricane Matthew, 800,000 Haitians urgently need food


    FONDTOUTANU, Haiti — There is no food, so along the road through the mountains there are children begging for something to eat. Most of the trucks rumble past with donations for somewhere else. But one stopped here the other day with sacks of rice, beans and dried herring, setting off a stampede.

    As the sun rises on badly hit town of Jeremie, the capital city of the Grand'Anse department, Merline Charles, 21, sits on a concrete slab which once was her home. On the left is her son, Sander Dore, 1, and her daughter, Widlove Adonia, 4, is on the right. [Sarah L. Voisin | Washington Post]
  5. FEMA closes Hermine recovery centers but is still taking applications for relief


    HUDSON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is closing its Gulf Coast disaster recovery centers opened in the wake of Hurricane Hermine late this summer.

    FEMA applicant service specialists Lori Ogas, standing, and Rosa Espinoza work at the Mike Fasano shelter on their last day of service Wednesday.
  6. Resilience and helping hands power Cedar Key through recovery after Hermine

    Human Interest

    CEDAR KEY — One night last month the Gulf of Mexico, roused and angered by Hurricane Hermine, swallowed Cedar Key.

    Gina Stefani and her husband, Peter, are rebuilding their Island Room Restaurant. The flag is a symbol of the island’s resilience.
  7. FEMA opens Hurricane Hermine disaster centers in Hernando, Hillsborough


    TAMPA — Federal authorities Friday announced the opening of additional disaster recovery centers to help residents cope with storm and flood losses from Hurricane Hermine.

  8. 'I cry and pray': Keeping vigil amid North Carolina floods


    GREENVILLE, N.C. — Anita Van Beveren has been returning day after day to watch the brown floodwater creep toward the rental home she shares with her two teenage children. While she got many belongings out, they couldn't move everything — a bicycle is chained to a back deck surrounded by water.

    Caitlyn Cain, left, and friend Sidney Daniels inspect flooding after Hurricane Matthew near Cain's old home on Wednesday in Greenville, N.C. [Associated Press]
  9. Hurricane Nicole pummels Bermuda with winds up to 115 mph


    HAMILTON, Bermuda — Hurricane Nicole roared across Bermuda on Thursday, pummeling the resort island with winds up to 115 mph that snapped trees and peeled off roofs.

    Wind and surf picks up as Hurricane Nicole approaches the Coope's Island Nature Reserve in St. Georges, Bermuda, on Wednesday. [Associated Press]
  10. 'Extremely dangerous' Hurricane Nicole to pummel Bermuda


    HAMILTON, Bermuda — The British territory of Bermuda hunkered down overnight as Hurricane Nicole rapidly strengthened into a major Category 4 storm and took aim at the tiny island in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

    Wind and surf picks up as Hurricane Nicole approaches the Coope's Island Nature Reserve in St. Georges, Bermuda, on Wednesday. [Associated Press]
  11. FEMA teams assessing Hurricane Matthew damage in Florida


    TALLAHASSEE — State officials say teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are starting to assess damage caused by Hurricane Matthew across northeast Florida.

    A no swimming flag flies last week on Clearwater Beach which was windy and rough, according to lifeguards, due to sustained winds   from Hurricane Matthew, which was on the other side of the state.[ JIM DAMASKE   |   Times ]
  12. Closed restaurants, damaged homes: Matthew may cost $10 billion


    For a storm that inflicted less damage than many had feared, Hurricane Matthew nevertheless impaired or destroyed more than 1 million structures, forced businesses from Florida to North Carolina to close and put thousands temporarily out of work.

    Ryan Christian and Delores Miller canoe down W Fifth Street Tuesday after checking on Miller's elderly mother's home in downtown Lumberton after Hurricane Matthew caused downed trees, power outages and massive flooding along the Lumber River in Lumberton, N.C. [News & Observer via Associated Press]
  13. Hurricane Nicole headed to Bermuda as Category 2 storm


    MIAMI — Hurricane Nicole is heading toward Bermuda as a Category 2 storm.