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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. After Maria, Bill Nelson says Congress is now hurting Puerto Rico


    TAMPA — It was only a day trip, but it was long enough for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson to lash Congress for failing to help those in Puerto Rico still suffering from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria.

  2. Year in review: Hernando's worst Irma memories lie along the Withlacoochee


    Hernando County residents saw a busy 2017 with Hurricane Irma leading the local headlines. The hurricane stomped through the center of the county in September, leaving a wake of homes without power, trees in the roadways and the worst flooding in recent memory along with Withlacoochee River. Local political upheaval, …

  3. Dark, desperate life without power in Puerto Rico


    MOROVIS, Puerto Rico — Three days before Christmas, Doris Martinez and daughter Miriam Narvaez joined their neighbors in a line outside City Hall in Morovis, a town of 30,000 people still living without electricity in the mountains of central Puerto Rico more than three months after Hurricane Maria battered the …

  4. Puerto Rico orders review and recount of hurricane deaths


    Facing mounting evidence that Puerto Rico has vastly undercounted the number of people who died because of Hurricane Maria, Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló on Monday ordered that every death on the island since the calamitous storm be reviewed.

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


    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.

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


    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]
  7. So long, 2017 hurricane season, and good riddance


    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]
  8. For family living near Withlacoochee, Irma took memories, hope for future


    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.
  9. Hernando County still learning the lessons of Hurricane Irma


    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.
  10. Report: Florida company fails on $30 million contract for Hurricane Maria help


    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]
  11. Nursing home tells Congress Irma deaths not staff's fault


    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.
  12. Two months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico struggles to regain electricity, thousands flee


    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.