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City of Tampa Urging Residents to Prepare for Severe Weather

This information is 1 year 6 months old and may no longer be accurate.

The City of Tampa is continuing to work with state and local partners to monitor the developments of a tropical wave in the Southeastern Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center has forecasted a high chance of tropical development of this system over the next few days, but any potential impacts to the region are unknown at this time.

Mayor Jane Castor and Tampa Fire Rescue Chief Barbara Tripp are encouraging residents to prepare now for severe weather by taking the following steps: 

  • Stay informed with Alert Tampa 
  • Follow @AlertTampa on Twitter 
  • Text TAMPAREADY to 888-777
  • Text TAMPALISTA to 888-777 for alerts in Spanish 
  • Register at Tampa.gov/AlertTampa for voicemails and emails 
  • Have a plan and stay informed

Getting prepared for severe weather includes getting your Disaster Supply Kit ready, including sustainable options where you can. Having safe drinking water should be at the top of the list for your Hurricane Supplies.  

“Best practices recommend having a three-day supply of water on hand with a gallon of water per person per day,” Chief Tripp said. “This works out to three gallons of water for each person to use for drinking and cleaning.”

“Remember, storms and severe weather are not new to us here in Tampa Bay,” Mayor Castor said. “Now is the time to prepare, because it only takes one storm. Getting your supplies in place now is going to make a stressful situation that much better for you and your family.”

Additionally, remember your evacuation zone may have recently changed. Make sure to find your correct and updated evacuation zone

Mayor Castor also recommends checking on your elderly or in-need neighbors and family members to ensure they are ready for potential severe weather.  

Hazards of Hurricanes

STORM SURGE: A hurricane can produce destructive storm surge, which is water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to inundate normally dry land in feet of water. The stronger the storm, the higher the storm surge. 

INLAND FLOODING - In the last 30 years, inland flooding has been responsible for more than half the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States. 

HIGH WINDS - Hurricane-force winds can destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes. Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left outside become flying missiles in hurricanes. 

TORNADOES - Hurricanes can produce tornadoes that add to the storm's destructive power. Tornadoes are most likely to occur in the right-front quadrant of the hurricane. 

Constantly Preparing

The City of Tampa is always working to ensure we are prepared to respond both before and after severe weather hits.  

Tampa Fire Rescue recently installed weather stations throughout the city. The public can view the data here.

Emergency Response Center teams are also now outfitted with drones to allow for rapid damage assessment and help ensure a quicker response after a storm. 

In addition, the City of Tampa is now a part of the AT&T FirstNet program, which is a special bandwidth for just public safety personnel to ensure better communications after a storm.