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A SPECIAL SECTION OF THE TAMPA BAY TIMES

MAY 31, 2020

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ic? m e and p 9 ID-1 . V O e C other h t o g urin like n d n a orid seaso l F hits storm e n rica y for a r u h f a et read i s pen e to g p a at h t’s tim h I W

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

AT YOUR FINGERTIPS For the latest news and information to help you before, during and after the storm, bookmark the tampabay.com hurricane page:

tampabay.com/hurricane

At least we can prepare for hurricane season BY JAMAL THALJI

Times Staff Writer

I’ve struggled with a way to start this year’s guide, so I’ll just come out and say it: It’s hurricane season. You need to get ready. I know you’re exhausted. I know the COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives. It has trapped us in our homes and threatened — if not robbed us — of our livelihoods and our futures. I get it. I’m not trying to stress everyone out even more. But I’ve got to level with you: If a hurricane makes landfall in Florida this year, our three-month struggle toward some kind of normalcy will be wiped away. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts an “extremely active” hurricane season this year. The seasonal forecasts are warnings, but in a way they don’t matter: It takes just one storm to make everyone’s lives harder. It’s overwhelming to think about. So while I’ve been editing this year’s guide, I’ve been thinking of a way to just be whelmed. Here it is: We had no warning when the pandemic struck in March. There was no time to get ready. But we have time to get ready for hurricane season. We have time to plan and prepare for whatever awaits us. That is a huge advantage. Can you imagine if you had weeks to get ready for COVID-19? Now we all have time. This year’s Tampa Bay Times guide will help you prepare for the challenge of 2020: A hurricane during a pandemic. The pandemic changes every aspect of how Florida deals with storm season, how we evacuate, take shelter and recover. It makes every decision — whether to evacuate, where to go, what you’ll need — far more complicated. We’ll be dealing with more than storm damage this year — evacuations and shelters could lead to new outbreaks of the virus. It’s new territory for all of us. In a way, it’ll be a repeat of the fear and trepidation we all felt in March, when the virus started shutting the world down. But this time, there’s something we can do about it. We can get ready.

ON THE COVER: Illustration by RON BORRESEN | Times

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‘WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?’

What happens if a hurricane strikes during the pandemic? It’s time to get ready for a storm season like no other.

BY JAMAL THALJI

Times Staff Writer

It was the second week of April and the pandemic had Florida officials scrambling. Local emergency management directors were on a conference call discussing COVID-19. Someone asked the inevitable question: “He said ‘Hurricane season is right down the road, what are we going to do?’ “ said Pasco County Emergency Management Director Andrew Fossa. “And you could hear crickets. No one had put those two together before.” That double-disaster scenario is upon us: Florida must prepare for a hurricane strike during a deadly pandemic. COVID-19 changes everything about storm season: How families and communities will prepare; how residents will evacuate and shelter; and how we’ll deal with the aftermath. And there’s a third disaster that affects the other two: the economic crisis. Floridians filed more than 2 million unemployment claims in May. How many families will lack the resources to prepare, shelter and recover if a major storm makes landfall? Emergency officials will take precautions to protect hurricane shelters from the coronavirus. But the priority will be protecting people from the storm. “They will do everything they can to mitigate further spreading the virus, but they cannot guarantee it,” said former Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long, who works at Hagerty Consulting, an emergency management consultant. “You first have to save lives from the immediate threat of the hurricane. You have to save them from flooding and drowning.” The Tampa Bay Times asked local and state emergency management officials and disaster planning experts to discuss what hurricane measures could look like this year. The challenges are daunting, but Floridians can prepare for what’s to come. Here are seven things you need to know about a hurricane season like no other:

1 Plan, plan, plan

Emergency officials always advise Floridians to have a plan. But what if that plan falls apart? “In the past, if you had a plan and it failed, you could find a backup,” said former Florida emergency management director Bryan Koon, who now works at the consulting firm IEM. “This year, your backup plan could be hard to come by.” You’ll need a plan to hunker down, plans to stay with several friends or relatives, a plan to find a motel room on safe ground, and the locations of nearby shelters. You’ll need multiple options because you don’t know which ones will be disrupted by an outbreak of the virus. The pandemic may end up limiting space in shelters and taking up motel capacity. If you plan to drive to Georgia or Alabama — just like thousands did to flee Irma in 2017, to the dismay of emergency officials — know that the virus makes rest stops, gas stations and restaurants even riskier. Officials don’t want you stuck in traffic when a storm makes landfall. And what happens if one of your companions becomes symptomatic far from home? Drive tens of miles, not hundreds.

2 No place like home

During the pandemic, the best hurricane shelter might be your home. The people who need to evacuate are those who are at the greatest risk from water and wind — those who live in flood zones and manufactured housing. But if you don’t live in a flood zone, if your house can withstand one category above the strength of the storm heading your way, think hard about staying put. Save shelter space for those who truly need it. Going to a shelter could also increase the chances that your family may be exposed to COVID-19 — and if you’re an asymptomatic carrier, then you’re putting the other evacuees at risk. If your family already has been isolating at home, in a non-evacuation zone, why leave? “Staying home during a hurricane or tropical storm might be a safer alternative than going to a shelter,” said Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council executive director Sean Sullivan. “The government will do the best it possibly can to keep everyone safe. But the decision to go to a shelter really has to be a personal one.” Times and Associated Press photos

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

Forecasters say forces of nature will pile on BY JOSH FIALLO

Times Staff Writer

Hurricane researchers have predicted the last thing we need in 2020: An active storm season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual forecast predicts up to 19 named storms will form in the Atlantic Ocean this year. That is sobering news as Tampa Bay and Florida grapple with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The agency predicts 13 to 19 named storms, with six to 10 reaching hurricane status. The forecast calls for three to six of those storms to become major hurricanes, which is any storm Category 3 and above on the SaffirSimpson Hurricane Wind Scale with sustained winds of at least 111 mph. An early forecast from Colorado State University is similar: 16 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major ones. An average season has 12 tropical storms, six of which are hurricanes. In 2019, there were 18 named storms, six hurricanes and three major ones, ful-

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2020 Atlantic tropical cyclone names Arthur Bertha Cristobal Dolly Edouard Fay Gonzalo

Hanna Isaias Josephine Kyle Laura Marco Nana

Omar Paulette Rene Sally Teddy Vicky Wilfred

filling early predictions of an abovenormal season. The most devastating storm last year was Hurricane Dorian. It devastated the Bahamas, taking dozens of lives, leaving thousands homeless and causing billions worth of damage. At one point, its maximum sustained winds reached 185 mph. It was the most powerful Category 5 storm recorded in the open Atlantic. Florida was fortunate that Dorian slowed to a Category 3 as it turned north and skirted the east coast with See FORECAST, 9

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DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2016)

A sampling of the damage to the Mantanzas Innlet Restaurant in St. Augustine, after Hurricane Matthew raked Florida’s east coast in 2016.


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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020 DOUBLE continued from 4

It has never been more important to prepare in advance.

3 Safety in numbers

5 Sheltering during a pandemic

If you are able to ride out the storm at home, if your family is isolating and in good health, if you have extra room, consider extending your good fortune: Let other family members or a group of friends hunker down with you. That would spare them the risks associated with shelters, and make it easier for others to use those shelters. But be honest about who you invite in and your ability to host them. Will your guests have their own room(s) and bathroom to maintain social distancing? Will they bring kids and pets? Do their kids and pets get along with your kids and pets? And let’s be real here: Do the adults get along? Ideally, your guests have taken the virus as seriously as you have. Make sure they bring their masks and sanitizer, along with their own supply of food and water. “If you are in a non-evacuation zone, then we really need you to shelter in place,” said Pinellas County Emergency Management Director Cathie Perkins. “If you can take in other family members, if you can host safely, we want people to look at that.” Think of hosting as a partnership, Koon said, and as a backup plan.

FORECAST

continued from 6 maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. The absence of an El Niño is a major factor in forecasting an active 2020 storm season, said Colorado State research scientist Phil Klotzbach. El Niño describes warmer-than-normal water in the tropical Pacific Ocean that can affect weather across the world.

“If you have friends, particularly in other parts of the state, come up with a pact,” he said. “If it hits you, stay with me. If it hits me, I’ll stay with you.”

show up unprepared. Every shelter will need its own supply of safety gear, further straining government resources. Be warned: Those who do not take the virus seriously, or consider masks an infringement of their rights, will not find a receptive audience in hurricane shelters. “I think we’ll need some hardnosed shelter managers to enforce the rules this year,” Koon said.

From now on, every hurricane kit should be stocked with pandemic necessities: hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and at least two cloth masks per person. So don’t stop trying to buy that stuff over the summer and fall. If you have to evacuate, shelters likely will require everyone to wear masks. “We’ll try to encourage our residents to have masks,” said Hernando County Emergency Management Director Cecilia Patella. “You can make a mask yourself or ask a friend to make you a mask. And really it’s to protect someone else, not just themselves.” And remember, the state now asks every Florida family to have enough food, water and supplies to last seven days. That’s how long it could be before help and new supplies reach your area after a storm. The pandemic could delay that response even further. This is an especially bad year to risk infection plunging into a crowded big-box store at the last minute to panic buy what you need.

Hurricane shelters will be especially vulnerable to a virus that can be transmitted through airborne droplets and remain viable on hard surfaces. Emergency officials recognize this danger and are coming up with strategies to prevent outbreaks. “We’ve had hurricane responses where we’ve dealt with infectious disease on a smaller scale, like maybe an outbreak of Norwalk virus at one or two shelters,” said Hillsborough Fire Rescue Operations Section Chief Iñaki Rezola. “This has certainly opened up peoples’ eyes to the possibilities.” During the pandemic, everyone who enters the Pasco County Emergency Operations Center is screened for the virus. Their temperatures are taken and they’re asked a series of questions. Evacuees may have to go through a similar process before they’re allowed into shelters. If they show symptoms, they may be sent to another shelter — or, if it’s too late for that, each shelter may have to set aside space to isolate symptomatic evacuees. Shelters will have to be cleaned and sterilized much more frequently to prevent outbreaks. And while officials want evacuees to bring their own masks and hand sanitizer, the reality is people will

Emergency officials are looking for new ways to house people. “We may open more shelters for limited evacuation to provide greater square footage,” said Hillsborough Emergency Management Director Timothy Dudley Jr. “We’re also looking at additional facilities that might be available, such as inventories of hotels.” Opening more shelters helps keep people farther apart. Officials are looking at all kinds of structures: motels, vacant dorms, community colleges, ice rinks, multipurpose facilities. But governments will need more people to staff those shelters, and more resources to maintain them. Some counties may rely on motels to house families with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. A family could occupy two rooms: One for the patient, and the rest of the group in the other. They would be isolated from each

An El Niño tends to increase high-altitude winds across the Caribbean and the tropical Atlantic, which can tear apart hurricanes as they try to form. “But this year we think the odds of El Niño are pretty slim,” Klotzbach said, leaving the Atlantic without its most effective security blanket. Gerry Bell, a research meteorologist with the Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, agreed that El Niño is unlikely.

“We’re not seeing anything that would indicate a likelihood for a below-average season,” he said. Instead, Klotzbach’s forecast indicates a weak La Niña — or cooler-than-average Pacific temperatures — could appear by late summer or early fall. That would mean the atmosphere would be conducive to hurricane activity at the peak of the season, which runs from August through October. Another contributor to the above-average seasonal forecast

is the warm sea surface temperatures in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic, typically the development zones for hurricanes. Warm waters don’t necessarily mean more storms, Klotzbach said. But storms feed on warm water — and even an increase of 1 or 2 degrees could lead to storms that are much stronger in intensity. “Temperature differences that are 1 or 2 degrees may seem marginal,” Klotzbach said. “But in the tropics, a 1-degree difference can

4 Everyone needs masks

6 New ways, new shelters

Tampa Bay Times

other, but still together. “Those are prime locations we can use for COVID patients,” Fossa said. “We can segregate and house them there.”

7 Recovery will be harder A direct strike would be devastating in any year. But this year, recovery would be particularly hard. Floridians who lost their jobs will have less money to get back on their feet. A family that lost one income to the pandemic could lose the other to a hurricane. Municipalities that lost sales tax revenue also will struggle. Everyone will be more reliant on help from FEMA and other government resources. Those are the long-term problems. In the short term, where will those who lose their homes to a major storm go? The more time they have to spend in shelters, the greater the health risk. “It puts an additional burden on emergency managers and community leaders to find emergency solutions,” Koon said, “particularly in a market where rental space is already hard to find.” There are Panhandle communities that still haven’t recovered 1½ years since Hurricane Michael struck in 2018. How long would it take to recover from a hurricane in 2020? Contact Jamal Thalji at jthalji@ tampabay.com. Follow @jthalji.

cause completely different actions for storms.” Dorian quickly jumped from a Category 1 to a Category 5 hurricane after slowing down around the Bahamas — where the Caribbean’s warmest ocean water is. “We can’t say (with certainty) that we’ll see more storms because of climate change,” Klotzbach said. “But they’ll certainly be a little stronger in the future. The number of really big ones we’ll see is going to go up.”

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Associated Press

AN EARLY START: A satellite image shows Tropical Storm Arthur off

the coast of North Carolina on May 18. Officially, hurricane season begins Monday and runs through Nov 30.

Plan to flee? Well, get Georgia off your mind MIKE CLAY

Spectrum Bay News 9

Unfortunately, the 2020 hurricane season is expected to be busy in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. The parameters appear to be coming together for an above-normal season due to warm ocean water in the Atlantic’s “Main Development Region” (last year it was cooler than normal). Also, there is no sign of an El Niño this year. In the past, higher winds aloft brought on by an El Niño has hampered Atlantic hurricane activity. The latest analysis shows a La Niña (the opposite of El Niño) might try to form in the Pacific later this season. Historically, hurricane seasons with a La Niña developing in the Pacific Ocean have been active in the Atlantic Basin. Forecasts from Phil Klotzbach at Colorado State University and Joe Bastardi at Weatherbell all seem to be saying the same thing: Get prepared for an active year. So what does this mean for you? The long-range forecasts are great science but have little meaning to an See CLAY, CLAY, 11HUS See 11

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020 CLAY

continued from 10 individual or a specific location. During busy years, if no hurricanes hit here, we’ve heard comments of “well, they were wrong again” when there have actually been many storms. So I say it every year, prepare like this is the year you are going to get hit. It doesn’t matter what the longrange forecasts say, even if they predict a below-normal year. It takes only one hurricane hitting you, and it is suddenly an active year for you and your family. The most important thing to keep in mind is a plan for your family and your business. Afterstorm surveys have found that people who have a plan do much better than those who leave it up to the last minute. The second-most important thing is to be willing and able to quickly change your plan. Weather isn’t black and white; things will always change and can do so quickly in tropical systems. Expect to have to make last-minute adjustments to your hurricane plan and stay informed. Because we are on the west coast of Florida, hurricane threats and tracks here aren’t as well defined as they are in other geographic regions. Our threats are often early in the season with tropical storms and then late in the season with the

bigger hurricane threats. Remember, Hurricane Michael forming in the Western Caribbean late in the season two years ago? That is a classic late-season threat for the Gulf Coast of Florida. It is rare, but a Caribbean-to-Gulf threat is the main thing we have to be concerned about in the Tampa Bay region. Most people don’t know their evacuation zone. Make sure you know yours and know why you would need to evacuate. As we say “run from the water, hide from the wind.” Evacuations are ordered for storm surge and not for wind, unless you live in a mobile home. Try to evacuate 10s of miles and not 100s of miles. If your evacuation plan is “I’m just going to drive to Georgia” — you need a better plan. As the season starts, remember past storms and try to make your own plan better. Just like during Hurricane Irma in 2017, Spectrum Bay News 9’s Weather Experts will be here with you this season. Take the forecast four to five days at a time during tropical weather and check in several times a day as things can change. Juli, Josh, Brian, Diane, Nick and I will keep you informed and watch the tropics every day for the next six months as we enter hurricane season. Mike Clay is chief meteorologist at Spectrum Bay News 9.

For the Buzz on Florida Politics. STEVE CONTORNO POLITICAL EDITOR

Exclusively in the

tampabay.com/politics

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

Pandemic is game-changer: more rules The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been sharing strategies with the public to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency also has advice for those affected by hurricane season. Whether you have to evacuate or plan to hunker down at home, here are some tips to help keep your household safe this hurricane season:

Before the storm

• Understand that your planning may be different this year because of the need to protect yourself and others from

COVID-19. • Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medicine supplies. Home delivery is the safest choice for buying disaster supplies; however, that may not be an option for everyone. If in-person shopping is your only choice, take steps to protect your and others’ health when running essential errands. • Protect yourself and others when filling prescriptions by limiting in-person visits to the pharmacy. Sign up for mail order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup, if available. • Pay attention to local guidance about updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including potential shelters for your pets. • If you need to evacuate, prepare a “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, or bar or liquid soap if not available, and two cloth face coverings for each person. Face covers should not be used by children under the age of 2. Nor should they be used by people having trouble breathing, or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or unable to remove the mask without assistance. • When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet, about 2 arms’ length, from others) and other Centers for Disease Control recommendations to protect yourself and others. • If you need to go to a disaster shelter, follow the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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After the storm

• You should continue to use preventive actions like washing your hands and wearing a face covering during clean up or when returning home. • It may take longer than usual to restore power and water if they are out. Take steps to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning if you use a generator. • If you are injured or ill, contact your medical provider for treatment recommendations. Keep wounds clean to prevent infection. Remember, accessing medical care may be more difficult than usual during the pandemic. • Dealing with disasters can cause stress and strong emotions, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is natural to feel anxiety, grief, and worry. Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family, and your community recover. • People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (https://www.samhsa.gov/disasterpreparedness) page. Times staff


HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

Are you covered? Double check your policies With experts predicting a busy 2020 hurricane season, insurers around Florida are urging policyholders to make their plans now, before storms begin to approach. Certainly, with the distractions and distress caused by the COVID19 pandemic, it can be easy to neglect hurricane preparations. But this is a good time to take steps around your house and yard before hurricane season begins. With this in mind, here are some insurance-related tips that are worth some thought: Make sure you have proper insurance coverage: Knowing you have enough insurance coverage for all your assets can bring tremendous peace of mind, especially in an evacuation situation. Reach out KEVIN MITCHELL to your insurance agent and TypTap Insurance do a full coverage review, if you haven’t done that recently. Be sure to tell your agent if you’ve made any home improvements or upgrades that might not be reflected in your building or personal property limits. Your agent should give you a thorough explanation of what’s covered and what’s not under your current policy. After Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Michael, many policyholders discovered that their home insurance policies did not cover flood or rising water, and they were left responsible for the damage. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Prepare your home: Even a Cat-

Times (2018)

Be sure to take a complete, updated inventory of your home and possessions. Adjusters will require it.

egory 1 hurricane has winds of up to 74 mph and can cause substantial damage to your home, so make sure your largest asset is protected. Simple steps make a big difference, such as keeping trees trimmed to prevent damage from debris, securing gutters and removing clogs, and inspecting your roof to make sure you don’t need any patches. Take inventory of the items in your household: In the event of a claim, your adjuster will ask you for an inventory of lost, damaged

or stolen items. This list is important because it is ultimately what the insurance company takes into consideration when the “contents coverage” portion of your policy is used to pay a claim. Take photos, write down serial numbers of items and keep the list somewhere safe, both in a waterproof storage box and digitally on the cloud. Be aware that federal flood insurance has limits: For flood coverage, it’s important to know that federal programs may not be sufficient

for your home, because they max out at $250,000 in building value, and many Tampa Bay area homes are worth more. Private market options now exist that offer building coverage up to $500,000. Other things to consider: Does your policy cover loss of use or loss of rent? And can your policy help you pay to stay somewhere else while your home is being repaired? Look around your house for potential flooding issues: Are your electrical outlets and switch box above potential flood waters? What

Tampa Bay Times

about washers and dryers? It’s important that your furnace and water heater be above the property’s projected flood elevation, too. If you have concerns, have a licensed contractor evaluate your risk and proposed solutions. Make sure you know your flood zone: The boundaries on flood zones can change, so make sure you study the current map for your county. This is essential information to know as you evaluate whether you have the proper level of insurance coverage on your home. In some situations, if properties are moved from high-risk areas, the flood risk may be reduced. Conversely, owners of properties that have now been identified to be at high-risk might see changes in their insurance requirements. Refresh your emergency supply kits: Make sure your emergency supply kit isn’t hard to find in the back of the storage closet. You should have kits in convenient, easy-to-reach locations at home, work and even in your car. You’ll need items on the list like: Flashlights; first aid kit; tools; manual can opener; local maps; pet food; water and food for at least three days; battery-powered radio and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio with tone alert (Don’t forget spare batteries!); essential personal items such as glasses/contact lenses and prescription medicine; copies of important documents, including an inventory of your personal belongings. Kevin Mitchell is president of TypTap Insurance, a subsidiary of Tampa’s HCI Group, Inc.

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

Keep up with Times coverage on social media BY JOSHUA GILLIN

Times Staff Writer

This hurricane season, the Tampa Bay area will face a potential double whammy from the possible impact of both a named storm and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In both cases, the Tampa Bay Times is dedicated to providing you with the latest information on several social media platforms. Hurricane Dorian in 2019 showed us that a hurricane doesn’t need to make landfall on the Gulf Coast to threaten our region, so being able to stay up-to-date is vital. In the event a named storm is on the way, we’ll post news stories, photographs, videos, evacuation updates and more on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Reddit.

Follow us at these accounts Facebook: www.facebook.com/tampabaycom/ Twitter: www.twitter.com/TB_Times Instagram: www.instagram.com/tampabaytimes/ Reddit: www.reddit.com/user/TampaBayTimes

On Facebook, we have a group dedicated to hurricane news and community discussions, where you can post your own information, ask questions and interact with other members. You can join by going to www.facebook.com/ groups/timeshurricane/. Keep in mind that we will change

the name of the group whenever a major storm threatens Florida, so you also can search for our group by the storm’s name. On tampabay.com, we’ll keep track of how getting supplies, evacuating or hunkering down may be changed by COVID-19 precautions. All of our coronavirus news can be found at www.tampabay.com/coronavirus. We also have a web page dedicated to hurricane preparation, tracking the latest storms, local emergency orders and evacuations, and covering the aftermath at tampabay.com/ hurricane. This year, we’ve added a new feature to tampabay.com, allowing readers to receive desktop notifications about the most important stories we’re publishing. You can turn these notifications on when you come to the site and a pop-up window asks if you’d like to get them. Click “allow” when you see the box in your browser, and you’re all set. We also can keep you informed through our news app, which provides mobile push notifications through your phone or tablet. You can download it through your favorite app store, or go to www.tampabay.com/times-apps/. You can then customize the app to get the notifications you want in a storm, including weather alerts.

The Tampa Bay Times has the latest information you need — at tampabay.com and on our social media accounts — in the event of a storm.

Contact Joshua Gillin at (727) 893-8337 or jgillin@tampabay. com. Follow @jpgillin

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Hernando and shelter map HernandoCounty Countyevacuation evacuation and shelters map

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Emergencyshelters shelters Emergency Shelters with ADA accessible restrooms

Evacuation levels Evacuation levels Pet friendly shelters

1. Challenger K-8 School, 13400 Elgin Blvd., Spring Hill Special needs only 2. Deltona Elementary School, 2055 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill 3. Nature Coast Technical High School, 4057 California St., Brooksville 4. Fox Chapel Middle School, 9412 Fox Chapel Ln., Spring Hill 5. Moton Elementary School, 7175 Emerson Rd., Brooksville 6. Chocachatti Elementary School, 4135 California St., Brooksville 7. Hernando High School, 700 Bell Ave., Brooksville 8. Springstead High School, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Brooksville 9. West Hernando Middle School,14325 Ken Austin Pkwy., Brooksville 10. Explorer K-8 School,10252 Northcliffe Blvd., Spring Hill 11. Weeki Wachee High School, 12150 Vespa Way, Weeki Wachee 12. D.S. Parrott Middle School,19220 Youth Dr., Brooksville 13. Winding Waters K-8 School,12240 Vespa Way, Weeki Wachee 14. Central High School,14075 Ken Austin Pkwy., Brooksville

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Level A – Evacuate red areas and all manufactured home resident Level B – Evacuate red and orange areas and all manufactured home residents Level C – Evacuate red, orange and yellow areas and all manufactured home residents Level D – Evacuate red, orange, yellow and green areas and all manufactured homes

Potential storm tide height (feet)

Level E – Evacuate red, orange, yellow, green and purple areas and all manufactured home residents

To 12’ To 17’ To 23’ To 31’ To 39’

Evacuation routes

Hurricane watch

An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specifiedarea. The hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane warning An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specifiedarea. The hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropicalstorm-force winds.

Saffir-Simpson Huricane Wind Scale Category1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 5 Category

Wind speed (mph) 74 to 95 96 to110 111 to129 130 to156 157 and over


Citrus trus County County evacuation andshelters shelters map ma Citrus County evacuation evacuation and and shelter map

Evacuation levels Evacuation levels Level A – Evacuate red areas and all manufactured home resident Level B – Evacuate red and orange areas and all manufactured home residents Level C – Evacuate red, orange and yellow areas and all manufactured home residents Level D – Evacuate red, orange, yellow and green areas and all manufactured homes

12

Potential storm tide height (feet) To 11’ To 20’ To 25’ To 32’

Level E – Evacuate red, orange, yellow, green and purple areas and all manufactured home residents

17 15

To 41’

Evacuation routes

Hurricane watch

An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area.The hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

2 11

Hurricane warning

An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere with in the specified area.The hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advanceofthe anticipated onset of tropical-storm-forcewinds.

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Saffir-Simpson Huricane Wind Scale

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Category1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 5 Category

Wind speed (mph) 74 to 95 96 to110 111 to129 130 to156 157 and over

4 miles

Emergency shelters shelters Emergency

Shelters with ADA accessible restrooms

Pet friendly shelters

Note: Not all shelters will be open. Check sheriffcitrus.org to find out which will open.

1. Pleasant Grove Elementary School, 630 Pleasant Grove Rd., Inverness 2. Forest Ridge Elementary School, 2927 N Forest Ridge Blvd., Hernando 3. Citrus High School, 600 W Highland Blvd., Inverness 4. Inverness Primary School, 206 S Line Ave. 5. Inverness Middle School,1950 Hwy. 41 N 6. Floral City Elementary School, 8457 E Marvin St., Floral City 7. WithlacoocheeTechnical College (Reception Center), 1201 W Main St., Inverness 8. Lecanto Primary School, 3790 W Educational Path 9. Lecanto Middle School, 3800 W Educational Path

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Roofing • Maintenance • Repairs

10. Lecanto High School, 3810 W Educational Path 11. Hernando Elementary School, 2353 N Croft Ave., Hernando 12. Citrus Springs Elementary School, 3570 W Century Blvd. 13. Rock Crusher Elementary School, 814 S Rock Crusher Rd., Homosassa 14. Crest School, 2600 S Panther Pride Dr., Lecanto 15. Citrus Springs Middle School,150 W Citrus Springs Blvd. 16. Central Florida Community College, 3800 S Lecanto Highway, Lecanto 17. Central Ridge Elementary,185 W Citrus Springs Blvd., Citrus Springs 18. Renaissance Center, 3630 W Education Path, Lecanto

Celebrating 243 Years in Business (that’s DOG years)

We Are

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for your Roofing & Construction Needs!

Tampa: (813) 988-1669 • Lake Alfred/Orlando: (863) 588-4130 •www.McEnanyRoofing.com Tampa Bay Times |

Sunday, May 31, 2020

|

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Hillsborough County evacuation and shelters map* STEINBRENNER HIGH

HERITAGE ELEMENTARY VD

BL N

S

BENITO MIDDLE

BR

U

GE

RD

Tampa Palms

ID

QUAIL MEADOW RD

BR

LAKE RD

BRUTON RD

MO

RR

HUTCHISON RD

CRESHAW

IS

MORT ELEMENTARY MULLER ELEMENTARY BOWERS WHITLEY

CORK RD

GALLAGHER RD

MCINTOSH RD

RD E N E

SYMMES RD

62ND AVE NE

Shadow Run

B

GARDEN DR

COVINGTON

SHIELDS MIDDLE

30TH

21ST

CARLTON LAKE RD

REDDICK ELEMENTARY

CENTER BLVD

GRANGE HALL LP

Evacuation levels Evacuation levels

e

Little Manatee River State Park

Valroy

* Find the Hillsborough County shelter closest to you at bit.ly/tbt_hillshelters

Level A –Evacuate red areas and all manufactured home resident Level B –Evacuate red and orange areas and all manufactured home residents Level C –Evacuate red, orange and yellow areas and all manufactured home residents Level D –Evacuate red, orange, yellow and green areas and all manufactured homes

Potential storm tide height (feet)

Level E –Evacuate red, orange, yellow, green and purple areas and all manufactured home residents

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RD

Fort Lonesome

KEENE RD

Sun City

PURVIS

SUN CITY

Wimauma

n a te

DRAWDY RD

SWEAT LOOP RD

LEONARD LEE RD

4TH

ST SE

ST

E SHELL POINT RD

AVE NE

Ruskin

Picnic

OWENS RD RD OWENS

GOLF &

DR SEA BLVD

M

O

Balm

14TH AVE SE

Ma

MUD LAKE RD

Alafia River River State Park

BLV D

CYPRESS CREEK ELEMENTARY

COCKROACH BAY RD

CREEK RD

Tampa Bay Regional Reservoir

BI G

RD

4TH

RD

19TH AVE NW

Gulf City

Pinecrest

SUMMERFIELD ELEMENTARY D EN

19TH AVE NW

Li ttl e

BEVIS ELEMENTARY

Lithia

RD

DICKMAN RD

BIG BEND RD

Tampa Bay

W SHELL POINT RD

NEWSOME HIGH

Boyette

ING

Mangrove Point

r

BARRINGTON MIDDLE FISHHAWK BLVD

W

OL L FA

NICHOLS RD

THOMPSON RD

VIE ER RIV

AP

Apollo Beach BEA CH

DURANT SENIOR HIGH

LM BA

WYANDOTTE

ST

Adamsville

COLLINS ELEMENTARY

ve

BOYETTE STOWERS SPRINGS ELEMENTARY ELEMENTARY

SESSUMS ELEMENTARY

LO

Ri

BOYETTE RD MCMULLEN RD

Gibsonton

40TH AVE NE

CIMINO ELEMENTARY

MCMULLEN LP

MacDill Air Force Base

NELSON ELEMENTARY Durant

E KEYVILLE RD

Bloomingdale

GIBSONTON DR

AV

Cockroach Bay

FORBES RD

TURKEY

PROVIDENCE RD

BLOOMINGDALE AVE

TURKEY CREEK RD

Providence

S 78TH ST

BL

S FORBES RD

SYDNEY DOVER RD

S KINGSWAY RD

PARSONS AV

FALKENBURG RD

BLVD

Riverview

DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR ST N

MULRENNAN MIDDLE

PROGRESS

RIVERVIEW DR

83

S KING AVE

LV D ORE B

AV

YSH BA

AV

MACDILL

S HIMES

AVE

S DALE MABRY HWY

4TH

S FALKENBURG

N OW ST OS CR

AVE

AY

MADISON

ia

RB

SUTTON RD

Lake Medard DURANT RD

af

TE

PORT

Hillsborough Bay

VALRICO ELEMENTARY RD

Peter O Knight Airport

PROVIDENCE LAKES RD

Al

IN

E LUMSDEN RD

36TH

ST

South Tampa

BLVD

RD

PR EX

Progress Village

AVE S

Sunset Park

W BRANDON

AY

BROWING RD

CAUSEWAY BLVD

Davis Island

TURKEY CREEK ELEMENTARY

RE

S MANHATTAN

Y

ALEXANDER ST

MUD LAKE RD

Valrico

EC

S WESTSHORE BLVD

C SW

PLANT CITY

RD

CROSBY RD

PIN

ST

ST

BRANDON MCLANE HIGH MIDDLE Brandon

HIA

DY

GE

22

FOOD DR

SIMMONS CAREER CENTER

Walden Lake

W TRAPNELL RD

EY

DN

SY

LIT

G AN

BR ID

PALM RIVER RD

Palm River ND

OS ST

SW

EUCLID AVE

PINELLAS COUNTY

RD

CR

S 78TH ST

Harbour Island

Hyde Park

Palma Ceia

EY

ORIENT RD

N TAMPA ST

TAMPA

Plant City Airport RD EY DN SY

SYDNEY RD

BOYETTE RD

h ug lls

bo

ro HIMES

E

Mango

Ybor City

BLVD

N WESTSHORE

LOCKHART ELEMENTARY

RES

ID G

AIRPORT RD GORDON

E MARTIN LUTHER KING BLVD

EX P

BR

Florida State Fairgrounds

WN

ND

MARSHALL MIDDLE TOMLIN MIDDLE

Seffner

O

K LA

WILSON ELEMENATRY

Dover

BURNETT MIDDLE

MIDDLETON HIGH

W AZEELE ST

AN

CORK ELEMENTARY

E OLD HILLSBOROUGH AVE

Hi

ARMENIA AVE

AV

RD

N LOIS AVE

Y

AIR CARGO

HW

KELLY RD

L RIA O

EISENHOWER BLVD

EM

W SPRUCE ST

W CYPRESS ST

FR

E SAM ALLEN RD

W SAM ALLEN RD

RD

STAFFORD RD

RD

ve

AVE

W KENNEDY BLVD

RD

THONOTOSASSA

Tampa Executive Airport E HANNA

Tampa International Airport

Old Tampa Bay

WA

TEMPLE TERRACCE HWY

SHEEHY ELEMENTARY

AV

M

E LL C AUSE WA Y

HO

JOE EBERT RD

WILLIAMS

r

FLORIDA AVE

N DALE MABRY HWY

SLIGH N ROME AVE

HILLSBOROUGH AVE

RD

JENNINGS MIDDLE

N MANHATTAN AVE

HOOVER BLVD

WEBB RD

BLVD

PB EY CAM

Antioch

TEMPLE TERRACE

W WATERS AVE

WOODBRIDGE

COU RTN

Thonotosassa

COOPER RD

BUSCH BLVD

Town 'N Country

GRIFFIN

KNIGHTS ELEMENTARY

N KINGSWAY RD

E BOUGAINVILLE AVE

MAIN ST

DAVIS RD

Carrollwood

E FOWLER AVE

PIZZO ELEMENTARY

HA RN

SHELDON RD

W LINEBAUGH AVE

E FOWLER AVE

MCKINLEY

Lake Carroll

Lake Thonotosassa

N 56TH ST

CANELLA ELEMENTARY

KNIGHTS

GRIFFIN RD

University of South Florida

N 22ND ST

HW Y

N 30TH ST

GH AV E

NN

Ri

EBA U

LAKE MAGDALENE E 131ST ELEMENTARY AVE

LOWELL RD

GU

Knights KNIGHTS

E FLETCHER AVE

N 22ND ST

LIN

W FLETCHER AVE

N BOULEVARD

W

Lake Magdalene

NEBRASKA AVE

FOUR OAKS RD

SGT. PAUL SMITH MIDDLE HENDERSON RD

TR

N 46TH

Lake Magdalene

A

CE

RA

N WILDER RD

VE SA RS

RD

ST

W BE A

V

CK

DR

R

ES

SWA Y

BLVD

WALTER L. Citrus Park EX P SICKLES HIGH ETERANS

SOUTH S OUTH MOBLEY MOBLEY RD

FIVE ACRE RD

Wilderness Park

NORTHDALE

S DOVER RD

TR

R D

N DALE MABRY HWY

HAMMOND ELEMENTARY

N MOBLEY RD

AC K

D

DEBUELD RD

LAKESHORE RD

CE RA

R

LIVINGSTON AV

VAN DYKE RD

PA TT ER SO N

WHARTON HIGH New Tampa

SUNSET LN

W

PA RK W AY

MCKITRICK C HEVAL B CHE L VD ELEMENTARY

PRIDE ELEMENTARY

Lutz

FERN RD

OAST

Lake Keystone

Hillsborough River State Park

RD

SUNC

RD

WAYNE

RD GS RD N S PRIN TAR PO

TURNER/BARTELS MIDDLE

NEWBERGER

W LUTZ LAKE

O

RD

D

FERN

B

Z LAK E

E

LUT

C

Keystone

To 11’ To 17’ To 22’ To 31’ To 38’


Pasco County evacuation evacuationmap and shelters map

4 miles

Pasco County did not release a list of hurricane shelters. If the county orders an evacuation, the list of open shelters and their locations will be made available at mypasco.net and shared via social media and media outlets. Call Pasco County Customer Service at (727) 847-2411 if you need help.

Hurricane watch

An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area.The hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane warning

An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere with in the specified area.The hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-forcewinds.

Saffir-Simpson Huricane Wind Scale Category1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5

Wind speed (mph) 74 to 95 96 to110 111 to129 130 to156 157 and over

0000080059-01 0000080061-01

McEnany Roofing, Inc.

Roofing • Maintenance • Repairs

Evacuation Evacuationlevels levels

Potential storm tide height (feet)

Level A –Evacuate – Evacuate red areas and all manufactured home resident Level B –Evacuate – Evacuate red and orange areas and all manufactured home residents Level Level C – Evacuate red, orange and yellow areas and all manufactured home residents Level Level D – Evacuate red, orange, yellow and green areas and all manufactured homes Level E –Evacuate – Evacuate red, orange, yellow, green green and purple areas and all manufactured home residents

To 11’ To 17’ To 22’ To 30’ To 36’

Evacuation routes

Celebrating 243 243 Years Years in in Business Business Celebrating (that’s DOG DOG years) years) (that’s

TOP DOG

We Are Are We for your your Roofing Roofing & & Construction Construction Needs! Needs! for

Tampa: (813) (813) 988-1669 988-1669 • • Lake Lake Alfred/Orlando: Alfred/Orlando: (863) (863) 588-4130 588-4130 •www.McEnanyRoofing.com •www.McEnanyRoofing.com Tampa: Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, May 31, 2020 |

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Category1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5

Wind speed (mph) 74 to 95 96 to110 111 to129 130 to156 157 and over

Saffir-Simpson Huricane Wind Scale

An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere with in the specified area.The hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-forcewinds.

Hurricane warning

An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area.The hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane watch

Evacuation levels

18

35’

28’

20’

15’

11’

Pinellas County evacuation map and shelters

20

19


21

Sunday, May 31, 2020

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32

29

33 36

H

30

31

TOP DOG

for your Roofing & Construction Needs!

We Are

(that’s DOG years)

35

28

24

25

26

Celebrating 243 Years in Business

34

23

22

Tampa: (813) 988-1669 • Lake Alfred/Orlando: (863) 588-4130 •www.McEnanyRoofing.com

Roofing • Maintenance • Repairs

McEnany Roofing, Inc.

20. Pinellas Park High School, 6305118th Ave. N, Pinellas Park 21. Bauder Elementary School, 12755 86th Ave. N, Seminole 22. First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg,1900 Gandy Blvd., St. Petersburg 23. Lealman Exchange, 5174 45th St. N, Lealman 24. New Heights Elementary School, 3901 37th St. N, St. Petersburg 25. Lealman Innovation Academy, 4900 28th St. N, St. Petersburg 26. John Sexton Elementary School,1997 54th Ave. N, St. Petersburg 27. Boca Ciega High School, 924 58th St. S, Gulfport 28. Fairmount Park Elementary School, 575 41st St. S, St. Petersburg 29. Gibbs High School, 850 34th St. S, St. Petersburg 30. John Hopkins Middle School, 70116th St. S, St. Petersburg 31. Campbell Park Elementary School, 1051 Seventh Ave. S, St. Petersburg 32. Jamerson Elementary School, 1200 37th St. S, St. Petersburg 33. St. Petersburg College Midtown Campus, 1300 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg 34. Gulfport Elementary School, 2014 52nd St. S, Gulfport 35. Thurgood Marshall Middle School, 3901 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg 36. James Sanderlin Elementary School, 2350 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg

South Pinellas County Shelters

1. Tarpon Springs Middle School, 501 N Florida Ave., Tarpon Springs 2. Brooker Creek Elementary School, 3130 Forelock Road, Tarpon Springs 3. East Lake High School,1300 Silver Eagle Dr. Tarpon Springs 4. Carwise Middle School, 3301 Bentley Dr., Palm Harbor 5. Palm Harbor University High School,1900 Omaha St., Palm Harbor 6. Palm Harbor Middle School, 1800 Tampa Road, Palm Harbor 7. Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road, Dunedin 8. Dunedin Highland Middle School, 70 Patricia Ave., Dunedin 9. Dunedin Elementary School, 900 Union St., Dunedin 10. McMullen-Booth Elementary School, 3025 Union St., Clearwater 11. Safety Harbor Middle School, 901 First Ave. N, Safety Harbor 12. Clearwater Fundamental Middle School, 1660 Palmetto St., Clearwater 13. Skycrest Elementary School,10 N Corona Ave., Clearwater 14. Belleair Elementary School, 1156 Lakeview Road, Clearwater 15. Ross Norton Recreation Center, 1426 S. MLK Jr. Ave., Clearwater 16. Oak Grove Middle School, 1370 S Belcher Road, Clearwater 17. Largo High School, 410 Missouri Ave. N, Largo 18. Mildred Helms Elementary School, 561 Clearwater-Largo Rd. S, Largo 19. High Point Elementary School, 5921 150th Ave. N, Clearwater

North Pinellas County Shelters

Pet-friendly shelters

Special needs shelters

0000080060-01

Tampa Bay Times |

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

For pets, have a plan well ahead of evacuation order DR. CATHY MEEKS BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital

The risk of a hurricane looms amid the COVID19 pandemic, so it is important to have emergency response plans that include our pets. Whether updating your pet disaster kit or planning a pet-friendly evacuation route, taking these steps can help protect your furry family members if a disaster strikes.

1. Build an emergency response kit for your pet. Like us, pets have five basic needs for survival: oxygen, water, food, shelter and sleep. During a hurricane, your pet’s basic needs should continuously be met, so make sure your pet’s emergency kit is up to date and all vaccinations, medical records and medications are current. What to include in your emergency kit: • A 30-day supply of pet food, clean drinking water, medication and food/ water bowls. If you obtain your pet’s food from your veterinarian, call ahead to check on supply availability. Also, plan to bring a small, insulated travel cooler for any medications that need to be refrigerated. • Hard and digital copies of medical records and registration. In the event of a natural disaster, most evacuation shelters will require your pet’s county registration and medical records to ensure vaccinations are current. In the event of a power outage, you will want to have a hard copy of your pet’s records on hand, but it is also helpful to have a digital copy readily available. Seal all hard-copy documents in a plastic bag for added protection. • Because veterinary care is an essential ser-

vice, many veterinary clinics still are open. Many BluePearl hospitals are operating on a curbside check-in and drop-off basis (meaning only the pet is allowed inside) and, to reduce risk of virus spread, are not accepting hard copies of medical records. It is recommended that pet owners relay information to veterinary teams over the phone and send records electronically. • A second leash and collar. • A crate or pet carrier. If loose in the car, pets can injure themselves, be a distraction to the driver, or act as a projectile to human occupants in an accident. Keep pets in a crate or carrier while driving, and anchor it to the vehicle using a seat belt or other secure means. When you arrive at your destination, open the carrier and examine your pet. If anything seems wrong, immediately take them to a veterinarian. • Pet litter and litter box (if appropriate). • Favorite treats, toys and bedding. Your pet’s favorite treats and familiar toys and bedding may help reduce their anxiety and stress during an evacuation. • First aid kit tailored to your pet’s emergency medical needs. Key items you’ll want to include in your kit include various sized bandages, gauze, cotton balls or swabs, scissors, tweezers, nail clippers, antiseptic wipes, pet-safe antibiotic ointment, latex gloves, thermometer, towels, blankets, and/or cloths. You may want to have additional items to the kit for your pet’s specific medical needs. For example, if your pet’s eyes are prone to irritation, you will want to be prepared with eye wash or drops. • Special care instructions. Write down your pet’s pill schedule, dietary restrictions, and instructions for feeding and medications in the event you need support caring for your pet during a disaster. Extra cleaning supplies. Be sure to wash crates and crate handles regularly.

Times (2017)

Most evacuation shelters will require your pet’s county registration and medical records to ensure vaccinations are current.

2. Make sure your pet is wearing a securely fitted collar or harness with up-to-date identification tags. Evacuating can cause chaos, which in turn leads to many lost cats and dogs. To help ensure a safe return home, and to enable quick identification if your pet were to become lost, make sure your pet’s collar is secure and ID tags show the proper information prior to evacuating. Talk with your veterinarian about microchipping (a permanent form of identification) and registering them in a recovery database.

3. Plan your evacuation route. When mapping out your evacuation route, be sure to research pet-friendly rest stops, so you can allow your pet to stretch, eliminate and hydrate. On long road trips, it is easy for pets to become dehydrated. Bring along a portable bowl and stop often to let your pet drink and go to the bathroom. In addition to

pet-friendly rest stops, map out emergency veterinary hospitals along your evacuation route. In addition to maintaining normal hours at most locations, BluePearl, Banfield, and VCA, alongside many other veterinary practices, are currently offering telehealth options. Call ahead to learn more about these options. Also, prepare both digital and hardcopy lists of the hospital phone numbers and addresses. What to include on your list: • Your primary veterinarian’s phone number. • Phone numbers and addresses of emergency veterinary hospitals (make sure they are 24/7) along the travel route. • The Poison Control Hotline: (888) 4264435 (fees may apply).

4. Research your destination to make sure it is pet-friendly. Whether you are heading to an evacuation shelter or a hotel, make sure it is pet friendly and find out what documents are required to bring your pet. Most Tampa Bay Area counties

See PETS, 20

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020 Tampa Bay pet shelters Citrus County Lecanto High School, 3810 W Educational Path, Lecanto

Hernando County Parrott Middle School,19220 Youth Dr., Brooksville

Hillsborough County Barrington Middle School, 5925 Village Center Dr., Lithia Durant High School, 4748 Cougar Path, Plant City Shields Middle School, 390819th Ave. NE, Tampa 33573 Sickles High School, 7950 W Gunn Hwy., Tampa 33626 Smith Middle School,14303 Citrus Pointe Dr., Tampa 33625 Steinbrenner High School, 5575 W Lutz Lake Fern Rd., Tampa 33558 Turkey Creek Elementary, 5005 S Turkey Creek Rd., Plant City 33567 Turner/Bartels Middle School, 9020 Imperial Oak Blvd., Tampa 33647 Wharton High School, 20150 Bruce B Downs Blvd., Tampa 33647

Pasco County To find out which Pasco shelters take pets, check mypasco.net or call Pasco County Emergency Management at (727) 847-8102.

Pinellas County Palm Harbor University High School,1900 Omaha St., Palm Harbor Gibbs High School, 850 34th St. S, St. Petersburg

PETS

continued from 19 have pet-friendly shelters; however, space is limited, and some require pet owners to pre-register pets. Shelters should be last resort, so, if possible, have your pet stay with family or friends in non-evacuation zones, or arrange boarding with a local veterinarian or pet groomer. If you must stay in a pet-friendly shelter, here are a few things to consider: • Pet owners are usually required to supply vaccination history and prove their pet is licensed/registered with the county. • Pet food is generally not provided, so bring your own. Pets usually are expected to be crated or leashed at all times. • Most pet-friendly shelters will only accept dogs and cats. Space is often limited, and some require pre-registration of pets. • Pets often are housed separately from people. • Access to your pet may be limited, and you may need to schedule time to feed, bathe and walk your pet.

5. Follow health official recommendations.

During the pandemic, it is advised to keep pets away from

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people infected with COVID-19 and to confine pets of infected people. While the largest known transmission risk at this time is between people, not between pets or from people to pets, it is always smart to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene — especially before and after interacting with pets. As an emerging disease event, it remains important that pet owners follow current COVID-19 health official recommendations and stay apprised of the latest information from reputable sources such as: World Small Animal Veterinary Association https://bit.ly/3dDADOA World Organization for Animal Health https://bit.ly/3czTdqU Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://bit.ly/2WToSNp. Hurricanes may be forecasted hours or even days before making landfall, which gives pet owners limited time to put their emergency plans into action. Following these tips before a disaster strikes can help ensure your pet stays healthy and safe this hurricane season. Dr. Cathy Meeks is the regional vice president of medicine at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital.


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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

Passengers will need to be quick and early if they hope to catch a flight at Tampa International, which locks down well ahead of a storm threat. CHRIS URSO | Times

Tampa International is already deep into hurricane preparation It was about 7:15 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2017. The final Southwest Airlines jet barreled down Runway 1 Right at Tampa International Airport, pointed its nose to the sky and disappeared into the clouds — and to safety. Off Florida’s c o a s t , Hu r r i cane Irma, then a dangerous Category 5 storm, was headed straight for Tampa Bay. A t Ta m p a JOHN International, TILIACOS not a single Tampa International plane was left Airport on the normally busy air field. The gates had been stowed and strapped down, removing them from service. It was silent with no ramp workers or tug vehicles in view. Inside, only essential employees, including the airport’s “Storm Riders” and a small number of guests, were left. Behind the scenes, however, the airport bustled with activity, as the team fully implemented Tampa International’s hurricane plan — a massive undertaking that involved a workforce of nearly 10,000 spread across dozens of different companies, including airlines, concessions workers, construction crews and federal agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration. Getting to this moment was the product of countless hours of

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preparation, planning, collaboration and coordination that began months before hurricane season arrived. While the region was spared the worst of the storm, it serves as a valuable and recent reminder: You can never plan too much. Our approach always is, you plan for the worst and hope for the best. And that’s just what Tampa International is doing this year. Safety is at the core of everything we do at the airport — there is nothing more important. We frequently test our plans, conducting tabletop and simulated exercises, and we regularly review them internally with our key stakeholders to ensure they are up-to-date and cover any new developments. We maintained a strong partnership with the National Weather Service to provide the most accurate and up-todate storm predictions, allowing our team to make critical operational decisions such as suspending and resuming airport operations. Our goal is not only to weather the storm, but to reopen and resume normal operations as soon as safely possible in order to help the region fully recover. This year’s planning process, which is well underway, has an added wrinkle: The COVID-19 pandemic. While our fundamental planning and response has not changed, we are reinventing how we execute. For example, key emergency updates will be conducted via web and teleconference, to the extent

possible, and those employees allowed into our Emergency Operations Center will be limited in order to ensure social distancing. All those entering the space will be required to wear face masks — now an airport requirement for all employees — and follow other proper safety precautions. Essential employees who remain at the airport, who will be a key aspect of our response, will stay in separate rooms and congregate in as small groups as possible to follow recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. It’s also critically important that people remember Tampa International Airport is not equipped as a hurricane shelter. This is especially true this year, given concerns over COVID-19 and additional safety measures that may be required to keep residents safe. As always, we will work closely with our partners at Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa to communicate open shelter information to our passengers, or any other vital messages our community needs to receive We are an economic engine for the Tampa Bay area and a vital part of this region’s economy. As such, it’s critical that we are well prepared and resilient to face whatever may come our way, and that we’re able to safely and quickly resume commercial flight operations. John Tiliacos is executive vice president of operations and customer service at Tampa International Airport.


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Sunday, May 31, 2020

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

To ease stress later, get it all together now Everyone in Florida needs an emergency hurricane kit, but I’m starting to think we need to rename it. Let’s call it an “all-purpose emergency kit.” Because right now, we should all be thinking about supplies for both a pandemic and for a hurricane. None of us wants to think about hurricanes at the same time as COVID-19. But the simple truth is that we need to. COVID-19 cases may have peaked, but at this point we don’t fully understand what’s next. The virus is still with us and hurricane season begins on June 1 and lasts until Nov. 30. From a medical perspective, I think it’s very important to take hurricane season seriously. I have seen the effects of hurricanes as a physician here in the Tampa Bay area and also during my time living in the Caribbean. At TGH Urgent Care powDR. PAUL ered by Fast Track, we have seen NANDA patients who come in for injuries TGH Urgent sustained while cleaning up after Care the storm passes, but also many who come in a few days after a hurricane because they need their blood pressure medicine or other vital medications, and their primary care physicians’ offices are closed or temporarily inaccessible. It’s one of the reasons I recommend people keep a minimum of two weeks’ worth of their medications in their hurricane kit, along with a couple weeks’ worth of non-perishable food, and drinking water. It is often prudent to plan ahead and to request refills of these medications before they run out, instead of waiting until the day you need a refill. It’s just as important to keep a copy of your latest medical records, including written diagnoses of any chronic health conditions. (Your family physician should be happy to provide you with this.) Utilizing smart phones can often be helpful as well, as many of them have free apps that allow you to document or store medically related pictures of notes, medicine lists, EKGs, and other important documentation you might need if forced to evacuate. Now, I recommend adding some things to the kit — like cloth masks and hand sanitizer and all the other things that have suddenly become scarce and necessary during a pandemic. I know what you’re thinkSee See KIT, KIT,26HUS 26

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Times (2017)

Families sheltered at John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg as Hurricane Irma approached in September 2017.

Every family member has a stake in hurricane plan With hurricane season approaching, here are some tips to help parents and families be better prepared.

DR. RACHEL DAWKINS Johns Hopkins All Children’s

Make a family plan before a hurricane approaches Think about your family needs and evacuation plans. Make sure you know your evacuation zone and plan your destination and travel routes ahead of time. Think about where your family can go for shelter and have multiple backup plans in case the path of the hurricane shifts. Are pets allowed? If you have an infant or toddler, make sure you have plenty of things like formula, dia-

pers and toys or activities to distract young ones.

Have essential supplies ready First aid kits are great for emergencies big and small. And remember, sometimes we may be without electricity for an extended period of time. Your supply kit should include: Water: One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation. Food: At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio with tone alert. Flashlight. First aid kit. Extra batteries. Paper towels, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation. See CHIRLDREN, See CHILDREN,26HUS 26


HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

Tampa Bay especially vulnerable to direct hit Planning for hurricane season has never been so complicated, with the COVID-19 crisis impacting everything from when stores are open to hotel closures that could affect your evacuation plans if a major storm is heading our way. Still, one overarching fact remains constant: It’s critiSEAN cally important SULLIVAN to plan early, so Tampa Bay you can have all Regional your needed supPlanning plies in hand, Council along with a good idea of what you’ll do if a hurricane is approaching. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, with a peak in September, and by all indications, COVID-19 will be a part of our lives for much, if not all, of this time. And though it’s easy to be dis-

tracted by all the news related to the crisis, now is the time to think about getting ready for the possibility that a major storm could head our way. The Tampa Bay area has been fortunate for decades in this regard, so it’s easy to forget that we are one of the most vulnerable areas of the country for storm impacts. We have a combination of coastline and dense urban populations that creates numerous potential challenges related to such issues as flooding, crowded evacuation routes and loss of power. With this in mind, here are some factors to consider as we plan for the 2020 hurricane season in the time of the coronavirus: • Home improvement stores and grocery stores remain open, so stock up now on needed supplies. Think about what you’ll need if the power goes out (flashlights, batteries and non-perishable foods

come to mind), if you need to board up the house (plywood, cut to sizes that will fit over your windows), and if you decide to evacuate (snacks, bottled water, cooler). • Think differently about your options for evacuation. Some hotels are closed, so now would be a good time to determine where you might stay if you decide to go north along Interstate 75, or northeast along I-4 and I-95. Also, know your evacuation routes, so you won’t need to spend time studying evacuation route maps as a storm draws near. • Think of a hurricane shelter as a last resort. If you have relied on shelters in your past planning, that may be fine, but if you are part of the most vulnerable population for COVID-19, know that social distancing may not be possible at a shelter during a major storm. So if you are over 65 and/or have underlying health issues, it would be smart to think of other options.

• If your yard has tall trees, make sure their branches are not too close to your home. If they are, hire a landscape company or tree service to trim them. These companies are continuing to work during the crisis, since they work outdoors and can practice social distancing. • We are spending a lot of time at home with our family, so make use of the time to work up a hurricane plan. Among the questions you should consider: How will everyone keep in touch during a storm? Does everyone agree on when you should evacuate and where you would consider going? And have you designated a safe place in the home to retreat to if you aren’t able to evacuate? To sum up, take the time now to gather the information you’ll need. A series of vicious tornadoes this spring around the South has served as a powerful reminder that we can never take a year off from getting

Tampa Bay Times

prepared. If a major storm approaches, you will be glad you made advance plans: Decisions sometimes need to be made quickly in these situations, so it’s no time to be starting the process of gathering key information. In Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties, check your county’s website for information on how to get your county’s hurricane guide, which includes lists of key resources along with maps showing evacuation zones. And if you live in Citrus, Hernando, Manatee or Sarasota counties, check your county’s website for where to find hurricane guides, or go to the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s website, www.tbrpc.org, since the Planning Council supplies the guides in those four counties. Sean Sullivan is the executive director of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020 CHILDREN

continued from 24

Be prepared if your child has a chronic medical problem or special needs For children with medical problems or special needs, make sure you have medications and any medical supplies your child might need. It’s a good idea to have a summary of your child’s medical history and a list of medications and even a copy of their shot record just in case. If your child depends on technology such

KIT continued from 24 ing: Where do I find hand sanitizer? Trust me, it will appear on shelves again soon, along with the toilet paper. Here’s another thing to consider, we need to mix evacuation plans with social distancing. One of the smartest ways you can prepare for a hurricane is to make a personal evacuation plan. Find a friend or family member who will put you up if a hurricane hits. This year, make sure your aunt or best friend has a spare bedroom where you can be somewhat separated from them, if needed.

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as a ventilator, oxygen or even a nebulizer machine for asthma that requires electricity, think about where you will go to evacuate. Local health departments will register families ahead of time that require a special needs shelter, so it’s best to look into that in advance of a hurricane.

Make a communications plan Plan how you will communicate with family members if you lose power and how often, if possible. For example, you can call, text, email or even use social media. Remember, depending on the intensity of the storm, some of your communication tools may not be available during or after. Make sure they won’t be offended if you wear a mask or stay 6 feet apart. And realize that you may need to ask them, “Have you had a fever or a cough lately?” You definitely don’t want to shelter with someone who is sick. Exploring these options and having these conversations now will help you make sure you will be staying somewhere that is safe for you and for the family that is hosting you. This might be easier said than done, but you want to keep hurricane shelters as an emergency option, only if your planned accommodations fall through — they are designed as last resorts anyway or for those

| Tampa Bay Times

Explain to your kids what is happening It’s important to be honest with children and explain what is going on. Focus the level of detail on what’s okay for your child’s age. While tuning in to the news is obviously important for adults to get information about the disaster, coverage may be too much for kids and teens, leading to unnecessary anxiety.

Help keep your children calm during a natural disaster Empower your kids! Get them involved in that don’t have other options. Even when shelters are well-managed, they have the ability to shelter and protect only a certain number of individuals. Facing social distancing requirements might still be a possibility, depending on what happens with the virus in the upcoming weeks and months. Shelters are working hard to stay in a position to safely shelter families, but may not be able to accommodate as many people during a storm. As an urgent care physician, I work to improve the physical well-being of my patients and it’s equally important to consider your mental well-being. After months

the plan — have them help make an emergency kit or gather and test supplies like flashlights. Teach them emergency numbers, including names and phone numbers of a relative that does not live in the home. The most important thing is for the adult to stay calm because children pick up on parents’ fear and anxiety. More information from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital’s doctors is at www.hopkinsallchildrens.org/ACH-News Dr. Rachel Dawkins is medical director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine Clinics in the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Department of Pediatric Medicine.

of stress from the pandemic, the last thing any of us needs is to feel even more stress from a storm we haven’t prepared for. So fill your all-purpose emergency kit. Call your family and friends. Make evacuation plans now and always have a backup plan. We say this in medicine all the time — preparation, not panic. Prepare as much as you can now and it will save you from panic in the future. Dr. Paul Nanda is chief medical officer for TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track, a network of urgent care clinics on both sides of Tampa Bay that are affiliated with Tampa General Hospital.


HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

Gather and secure your digital data and devices As Florida residents, many of us are familiar with the steps to prepare our homes and the supplies needed for our hurricane kits. However, many forget the importance of securing electronic devices and digital information for hurricane season. Think about the electronic devices you use at home and in the office: These may include a phone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, television or security system. These technologies help us receive the latest news, speak to our loved ones and call for help. The data inside these devices is used to operate businesses, monitor properties and store important records. WithSARA VITALE out question, it’s much more difficult to return to a norTampa Bay mal home and work life after a storm has passed if these Regional technologies have failed and if critical documents have Planning been lost. Council Don’t leave your data and devices to chance. The following tips can help you secure your electronic devices and digital information for hurricane season: 1. Schedule your personal and workplace data and devices to be backed up regularly. Hurricane

season should not be your cue to prepare data and devices for a disaster, as anything could happen to your home or office throughout the year. However, the start of hurricane season can be a reminder to check that automatic backups are regularly

scheduled and working properly. This is extremely important for those who own a business and who may rely on the files and data saved on a computer to operate that business after the storm has passed. 2. Scan important paperwork and documents into a digital format.

This can be done using a scanner, a handheld camera, or with a free

app on your cell phone that digitizes documents using the phone’s camera (such as TurboScan). 3. Take before and after photos and videos of your home, business, furniture and valuables. These will

be invaluable if an insurance claim needs to be made.

tant items as birth certificates and passports, or irreplaceable keepsakes like family photo albums.

4. Once your key information is saved digitally, back up your data and files to an external hard drive or usb flash drive. When updated

7. If your area is prone to flooding, place electronic devices in high and dry locations away from windows. Water is an obvious enemy

frequently, these backup drives become a portable copy of the data in your computer or device. When the call is made to evacuate, don’t forget to take your backup drives with you.

of electronic technology. Even the smallest amount of water can ruin your device.

5. Back up your data and files to a cloud-based server. Uploading your

outages and lightning strikes can occur and cause major damage to devices, including computers, servers and televisions. Charge portable battery packs before the storm so you can avoid having to plug in any devices.

information to the “cloud” provides an added layer of protection in case something happens to your phone, computer or backup drives. With cloud-based protection, your information is secured online and can be easily restored to the original device or to a replacement device. 6. After everything is backed

for internet access and any news on the storm’s path. Don’t give in. It’s important to turn off and unplug devices to prevent power surge damage and battery drain. You may need to make an emergency call during or after the storm, so you need to conserve your battery life.

up digitally, it’s wise to store all important paperwork and documents and keepsakes in a fire-safe, waterproof container that’s easily portable. This includes such impor-

10. You may be thinking, “If I can’t

use my device, how will I get the news?” Your hurricane kit should

contain a battery-powered radio with plenty of extra batteries. This will allow you to tune in to radio broadcasts for storm tracking and important safety updates from your county’s Emergency Management office and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio. For more disaster-preparedness tips, download your copy of the All-Hazards Disaster Planning Guide and Evacuation Map at www.tampabayprepares.org.

8. Make sure electronic devices are unplugged during a storm. Power

9. Limit the use of electronics until the storm has passed and power is stabilized. It will be tempting to turn

Sarah Vitale, AICP, is a senior planner with the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.

on your phone or computer to check

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

Gear up now with no-tech staples of storm survival BY ANASTASIA DAWSON

Times Staff Writer

Hurricane kit

What could be worse than being forced to stay home for months on end while the world rides out the CVOID-19 pandemic? How about being stuck at home during the pandemic with a major hurricane on its way — and not enough toilet paper and batteries? It seems like the plot of a low-brow, low-budget science fiction movie. It also could be our collective reality as forecasters predict an active hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean this year. The National Weather Service has made two new additions to its triedand-true hurricane preparedness checklist via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: two face masks per person and hand sanitizer. Those are important because face masks will likely be required to stay in hurricane shelters. Those items have been hard to find on store shelves as the coronavirus has laid siege to the state since early March. Pandemic shopping has left other basic necessities like toilet paper, bread and flour in short supply. That’s why emergency management officials say Floridians should do their hurricane shopping now, and not wait until a storm approaches. You may have already stocked up your household during the pandemic, but you still should take inventory of your supplies and make sure you have supplies specific to hurricane season. Use the checklists released by your county’s emergency management team, said Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council director of resilience Brady Smith. The Florida Division of Emergency Management (www.floridadisaster.org) and the Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov) also offer resources, he said. “Guarding against complacency is the biggest hurdle we face year after year,” Smith said. “Every single year, residents still need to make sure they have fresh hurricane supplies packed up and ready to go, so whether they have a couple days to evacuate or a couple hours, they know they’re ready.” The rule of thumb is to stock up on

Here is some of the equipment in Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council director of resilience Brady Smith’s hurricane kit: •Air horn, to call for help •Assorted batteries, including for hearing aids •Bleach to clean up mold •Cash •Fix-a-Flat tire sealant and similar products, in case storm debris shreds your tires •Hand sanitizer; personal wipes (make sure they disinfect) •Laundry detergent, bucket for washing clothes •Paper towels (better than sponges if there’s no water) •Portable air conditioner that can be plugged into a generator •Portable camping stove •Portable power banks for smartphones and tablets •Powerful flashlight, laser pointer to attract help in the dark (Remember: aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a federal crime) •Rain poncho •Rags, sponges, mops for cleanup •Several pairs of dry socks and backup shoes •Spare contacts and eyeglasses (also eyedrops) •Spare keys to homes, businesses and vehicles •Spray paint to paint address, insurance carrier on house •Sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellent •Termite bait and ant poison •Toothbrushing pads (when water is in short supply) •Water purification tablets •Waterproof matches and lighter •Work gloves and rubber gloves

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020

Fill your strongbox with all that matters BY MALENA CAROLLO

Times Staff Writer

Think of hurricane season preparation this way: Start inside, then go outside. When you’re rushing to finalize preparations for a major storm, one of the last things on your mind might be all the important documents inside your home. But those will become vital if anything goes wrong. Your post-storm recovery depends on them. So this year get a jump start by starting your hurricane prep indoors: Get the most important documents for your home, business, family and finances ready before a storm hits. That way, should your home fall into the cone of uncertainty, you can focus on preparing the outside, securing your property before the storm arrives. A head start is even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. This hurricane season would be a terrible time to wait until the last minute to rush into big box stores with hundreds of other people to buy generators, plywood, storage bins and everything else you’ll need. Start shopping now, using curbside pickup or visiting stores at off-peak hours. This is not the year for panic-buying.

Protect your documents Start with your most fragile possessions: What’s on paper. Create a checklist for the important documents and photos you need to preserve and protect. Physical copies of documents and photos should be stored in waterproof containers or bags. If possible, don’t just use any plastic container. Consider using bags and bins that are specifically designed to be waterproof. Ziploc bags work but they’re cheap and disposable. There are sturdier — but more

expensive — options such as dry bags used by divers and campers. There are waterproof and fireproof document organizers, folders or pouches you can buy. If you already have a waterproof, fireproof safe, think about how hard it would be to move if you have to evacuate. Giving everyone in your family a waterproof pouch for their cell phones could come in handy. You don’t want to waste time during an emergency going through your most important documents. Organize them ahead of time so you can easily locate insurance policies, medical documents, financial records, checkbooks, Social Security cards and birth certificates you should preserve. You’ll need your Florida driver’s license or identification card after a storm, but don’t forget other forms of ID, such as passports. And medical records and prescriptions will become even more important during the pandemic. Why keep paper copies on hand? Online storage won’t be available until power and internet are restored. What if there’s a document you need immediately after a storm?

Protect your data and photographs Online storage is still a key aspect of hurricane preparation. You already should have copies of those documents scanned and stored online and in external hard drives. You can use services such as Apple’s iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, or Amazon Cloud Drive. You don’t need a scanner to digitize them, either. There are plenty of iOS and Android apps that can take a photo of documents and turn them into PDFs. Don’t forget about family photos. Again, choose a sturdy waterproof option. You can identify and store the physical photos, vid-

Times (2017)

Cover windows with plywood at least ⅝ of an inch thick, or install hurricane shutters.

eos and old home movies you want to preserve in advance and make a list of the photos hanging around your home that you’ll need to grab in case of a storm. While most of your photos already may be stored online, some older ones may only exist physically. Those can be scanned, but losing the originals would hurt, right? One more word about cloud storage: Don’t just rely on one service. Backup your backup — it’s not expensive. You could buy an extra external hard drive (or two.) You could use a second cloud service, and most offer free but limited storage. Don’t take a chance and rely on just one backup or provider.

Protect your home You took care of your affairs inside the house. Now go outside to protect your property itself. First, think about what you need to protect it from during a storm: water and wind. Prepare and reinforce the parts of your home that are most likely to let those in: doors, windows and the roof. Doors and windows need to be tightly sealed. If that’s a problem, get it fixed. If your

roof is damaged or leaking, waiting for a storm to start churning toward you is a bad time to fix those problems. Make any necessary repairs before the throes of hurricane season ensures you’re not scrambling to get a contractor out to your house at the last second. Once again, taping your windows doesn’t protect them. Cover your windows with plywood that is at least ⅝ of an inch thick, or install hurricane shutters. Google will help show you how to hang plywood. Keeps some tarps around, too, to help cover up any damaged areas. Another way to protect your windows is to make sure there’s nothing loose in your yard that the storm-force winds could launch at your home. Check for any trees or foliage that may need trimming or cutting down, too, to reduce flying debris. The same goes for loose objects. Powerful winds could turn items such as flower pots or lawn decorations into projectiles. Examine your garage door, too. Depending on how old the door is, it could be vulnerable to a storm with significant winds. ConSee PREPARATIONS, 30

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HURRICANE GUIDE 2020 CHECKLIST

continued from 28 enough supplies to keep every family member safe and comfortable for seven days in case of a “worstcase scenario” storm, Smith said. Keep everything in a portable cooler or a durable, waterproof tote that’s easy to grab at a moment’s notice. Pack clothes, pillows, inflatable mattresses, sleeping bags and anything else you’ll need to stay comfortable if you have to evacuate to a shelter. Old–fashioned entertainment like board games, playing cards and books may help. Every family member needs to have their prescriptions ready to take with them in an evacuation or just to make sure they don’t run out while pharmacies are shuttered. In Florida, doctors can provide a 90– day supply for most medications.

PREPARATIONS continued from 29

sider bracing or reinforcing your garage door with a kit from a home improvement store. Again, Google can show you how. And don’t forget to take fresh photos of your home and possessions beforehand. That definitely needs to be stored on the cloud.

Protect your business If you need to protect your business, the game plan is basically the same as protecting your home — especially cleaning up the trees, foliage and debris around it. But don’t forget to power down any computers and machines before you leave, and shut off the electricity to your business ahead of a storm. When electricity is restored, that could cause power

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The council recommends taking enough to last two weeks. Each person will need about seven gallons of water, he said — one gallon per day for every day of the week. Water purification tablets could come in handy. Consider buying things like plastic water bottles, plastic pitchers or personal straws that come with filtration systems to ensure access to clean, potable drinking water at all times. Don’t forget to check expiration dates, Smith warned. “It’s the things that seem obvious, like a can opener or tons of batteries, that people forget to check,” Smith said, “especially if they’ve had a hurricane kit for years.” Emergency food stores, including pet food, baby food, infant formula and other dietary items should be replaced every six months. The council recommends packing enough freeze–dried or

canned food for three days per person. Look for high–calorie, non– refrigerated food items like peanut butter, powdered sports drinks high in electrolytes and protein bars to help maintain energy in humid conditions. A camp stove with extra propane will extend your menu options. Of course, on top of keeping all of this handy, residents still must buy toilet paper, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and other paper products that are in short supply and could be throughout the summer. In a way, preparing for the pandemic is like getting an early jump on hurricane season. But the time to assemble your supplies is this summer, before the storm season peaks starting in August.

surges that could damage your electronics. If you have a fridge in the office, make sure not to leave any food in it. Backing up your data and documents is even more crucial at work. You may want to spend the money on waterproof bags and containers to preserve work papers. You’ll definitely want to save multiple copies of your documents and data in different cloud services. And as the pandemic has shown, you don’t know when you can reopen again. Take whatever you’ll need to work remotely. And photograph everything in advance.

payment apps like Apple Pay will be useless.

One more thing In the aftermath of a severe storm, cash is king. Don’t forget to withdraw cash ahead of a storm. When power and cell service is down, you can’t Venmo. Credit cards, ATMs and mobile

| Tampa Bay Times

Contact Anastasia Dawson at adawson@tampabay.com or (813) 2263377. Follow @adawsonwrites.

Contact Malena Carollo at mcarollo@ tampabay.com or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo


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Profile for Times Creative

Hurricane Guide 2020  

DOUBLE DISASTER What happens if a hurricane hits Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s time to get ready for a storm season like no oth...

Hurricane Guide 2020  

DOUBLE DISASTER What happens if a hurricane hits Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s time to get ready for a storm season like no oth...

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