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2015 Hurricane preparedness guide

Evacuation maps, shelter locations

If a storm comes, you'll need to know how to get out of town or go to a shelter. Know your county's evacuation routes. Might there be a low-lying area between you and a major route? Study up in advance and have a backup plan. (Note: Some of the maps take a while to load, and it's recommended that you have an updated version of Adobe Flash to display them.)


  1. Stormy winter may follow another summer without hurricanes


    Warren Faidley hasn't been to Florida in 11 years.

    Bob Landry of Clearwater pedals through rain on the Pinellas Trail in September.
  2. Tropical Storm Kate forms near Bahamas, poses no threat to Florida


    MIAMI — Tropical Storm Kate has formed and is approaching the central Bahamas.

  3. Hurricane Patricia slams Mexico's coast as Category 5 hurricane


    PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico — Hurricane Patricia roared ashore in southwestern Mexico as a Category 5 storm Friday evening, bringing lashing rains, surging seas and cyclonic winds hours after it peaked as one of the strongest storms ever recorded.

    Astronaut Scott Kelly, who is spending a year aboard the International Space Station, made this photo of Hurricane Patricia as it approached Mexico on Friday. The Category 5 storm made landfall about 7:15 p.m. [@StationCDRKelly Twitter]
  4. How Hurricane Patricia exploded into such a powerful storm so quickly


    Hurricane Patricia zoomed from tropical storm to record-beater in 30 hours flat like a jet-fueled sports car.

    As Hurricane Patricia approaches Mexico, tourists wait in line to board buses that will transport them to a shelter in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Friday. Teams of police and civil protection are walking along Puerto Vallarta's waterfront, advising people to evacuate. A top civil protection official says that three airports in the path of Patricia in southwestern Mexico have been shut down as the storm approaches. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  5. Tampa Bay area rated nation's most vulnerable to hurricane storm surge


    With $175 billion in potential losses, Tampa Bay is the most vulnerable metro area in the nation to storm surge floods caused by a once-in-a-century hurricane.

    A satellite image shows Hurricane Rita in the Gulf of Mexico west of Florida on Sept. 21, 2005.
  6. Coast Guard to Suspend Search for Survivors of El Faro


    JACKSONVILLE — The U.S. Coast Guard will suspend its search for survivors of the cargo ship El Faro at sunset Wednesday, officials told the crew's family members.

  7. Debris spotted as crews search for Florida-based ship lost off Bahamas


    NASSAU, Bahamas — The search for a U.S. cargo ship that was lost during Hurricane Joaquin off the southeastern Bahamas turned up more clues Sunday but no word yet on the fate of the vessel or its 33-member crew.

    Families gathered Sunday at the Seafarers Union Hall in Jacksonville to wait for news on the 33-member crew aboard the missing cargo ship El Faro. The ship has not been heard from since it lost power and was taking on water in seas churned up by Hurricane Joaquin.
  8. Fate unknown of Florida-based ship caught in Hurricane Joaquin off Bahamas


    NASSAU, Bahamas — An intensive, dawn-to-dark search Saturday turned up a life ring but no other sign of a cargo ship from Jacksonville with 33 people on board that lost power and communications off the southeastern Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin.

  9. European model again leads the pack on Hurricane Joaquin forecast


    For days, the models that guide the National Hurricane Center's forecasts had been split over the future of Hurricane Joaquin.

    This map from Thursday showed the European model's projections for Hurricane Joaquin for the next 10 days. [European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts]
  10. Hurricane Joaquin batters the Bahamas but may bypass U.S. coast


    ELEUTHERA, Bahamas — Hurricane Joaquin hammered islands in the central Bahamas with torrential rains that flooded homes and forecasters warned that the "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm could grow even stronger.

  11. 2 a.m. update: Hurricane Joaquin batters Bahamas; storm could threaten U.S. (w/video)



    ELEUTHERA, Bahamas — Hurricane Joaquin hammered islands in the central Bahamas with torrential rains that flooded homes, and forecasters warned that the “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm could grow even stronger as it roared on a path that could take it near the U.S. East Coast.

    This satellite image, taken at 8 a.m. Thursday and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shows Hurricane Joaquin. The powerful Category 4 hurricane pounded lightly populated islands of the eastern Bahamas on Thursday, and forecasters said it could grow more intense while following a path that would near the U.S. East Coast by the weekend. [NOAA via AP]
  12. Hurricane Joaquin gains force near Bahamas


    MIAMI — Hurricane Joaquin grew into a Category 3 storm late Wednesday as it approached the central islands of the Bahamas on a projected track that would take it near the U.S. East Coast by the weekend.

  13. Tropical Storm Joaquin likely to become hurricane, deluge East Coast


    The East Coast is about to get a lot of rain because of Tropical Storm Joaquin.

    As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center reported that the center of Tropical Storm Joaquin was 405 miles east of the northwestern Bahamas. Joaquin was moving toward the west-southwest near 5 mph. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Joaquin could become a hurricane on Wednesday. [National Hurricane Center]