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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. 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. 
  2. As Irma flooded Alafia homes, Swiftmud sent more water their way


    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]
  3. Tropical Storm Rina forms in Atlantic; no threat to land


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

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


    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. 
  5. Tropical Depression 19 forms, has small chance of becoming last-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.

    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]
  6. Potential tropical system forecast to steer clear of Tampa Bay


    Forecasters continue to monitor an area of thunderstorms in the Caribbean that has a moderate chance of strengthening into the next tropical system as it approaches the Gulf of Mexico.

    Forecasters continue to monitor an area of thunderstorms in the Caribbean that has a moderate chance of strengthening into the nex tropical system as it approaches the Gulf of Mexico. [National Hurricane Center]
  7. Tropical system could strengthen as it approaches Gulf of Mexico


    A tropical system in in the Caribbean has a 50 percent chance of development through the next several days, according to the National Hurricane Center.

    A tropical system has formed in the Caribbean Sea and has a 50 percent chance of developing over the next five days, forecasters said. [National Hurricane Center]
  8. Iconic Key West marker restored after Hurricane Irma (w/video)


    KEY WEST — Artists have restored one of the most photographed tourism icons in the Florida Keys after it was damaged by Hurricane Irma.

    In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, artist Danny Acosta completes lettering the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A. marker Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, in Key West. One of the most-photographed tourism icons in the Florida Keys was pummeled by Hurricane Irma on Sept. 10, stripping most of the paint and a large chunk of stucco. [Rob O'Neal | Florida Keys News Bureau via AP]
  9. 'Days were lost': Why Puerto Rico is still suffering a month after Hurricane Maria


    MAUNABO, PUERTO RICO — Before Hurricane Maria tore through the rest of this island, it came to Mayor Jorge Márquez's home.

    A man wades through a flooded road, past a boat, in the Toa Ville community two days after the impact of Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Because of flooding, thousands of people are being evacuated from Toa Baja after the municipal government opened the gates of the Rio La Plata Dam. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti) CGPR130
  10. Tampa moves to put freed slave Fortune Taylor's name back on historic bridge


    TAMPA — City Hall has agreed to return a long-lost honor to the memory of Fortune Taylor, a freed slave who amassed more than 30 acres near downtown Tampa after the Civil War.

    The Laurel Street Bridge over the Hillsborough River was once known as the Fortune Street Bridge in honor of Madam Fortune Taylor, a former slave and businesswoman who amassed 33 acres on the east bank of the Hillsborough River after the Civil War. The City Council voted Thursday to put Taylor's name on signs posted at the foot of the bridge and seek a historical marker telling her story. SKIP O'ROURKE  |   Times (2016)

  11. Show us your post-Irma brush piles


    Admit it. You're starting to get used to those Hurricane Irma brush piles, aren't you? They're part of the Florida landscape now, just like a stray palm frond in your yard, or the lizards scurrying across the sidewalk.

    A large pile of brush that came from a tree knocked down during Hurricane Irma stands along a St. Petersburg street. [RON BRACKETT | Times]
  12. Ophelia batters UK after pummeling Ireland, leaves 3 dead


    LONDON — Storm Ophelia is battering Scotland and northern England after leaving three people dead and hundreds of thousands without power in Ireland.

    A woman stands as waves crash against the sea wall at Penzanze, Cornwall southwestern England, as the remnants of  Hurricane Ophelia begins to hit parts of Britain and Ireland. Ireland's meteorological service is predicting wind gusts of 120 kph to 150 kph (75 mph to 93 mph), sparking fears of travel chaos. Some flights have been cancelled, and aviation officials are warning travelers to check the latest information before going to the airport Monday. [Ben Birchall | PA via AP]