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2016 Hurricane preparedness guide

Hurricane Andrew, one of the costliest and most intense storms in U.S. history, barrels toward Florida’s east coast in August 1992.NOAA

Hurricane History Class: 10 lessons Tampa Bay can learn from 10 devastating storms

They say those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That is especially true when it comes to hurricanes. Lessons from past storms could serve us well in future storms. Here's a look at 10 historic storms, what we've learned from them, and what we've forgotten. Great Galveston Hurricane (1900) In S …


Evacuation maps, shelter locations

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


Surviving the storm

Before a storm threatens Tampa Bay, you'll want to be prepared. If a storm strikes, you'll want to get out of town, or to a shelter. And after the storm, you'll want to survive. Find out how inside the hurricane guide published in print editions of the Tampa Bay Times.

  1. Hurricane season could have been worse, but still caused damage in Tampa Bay area


    The calls came in the middle of night as Hurricane Hermine's winds howled across Pasco County's coast, rattling homes.

    Residents evacuated the Elfers Parkway area of Pasco County as the Anclote River crested at 25.08 feet on Sept. 4. While Pasco suffered the worst flooding in the state from Hurricane Hermine, officials said it could have been worse. They also said they learned lessons this year about the area's readiness. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times]
  2. Hurricane Otto weakens as it moves across Nicaragua (w/video)


    MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Hurricane Otto weakened rapidly as it moved across southern Nicaragua on Thursday after making landfall on that country's Caribbean coast as a dangerous Category 2 storm. It was the southernmost hurricane on record to hit Central America.

    Civil Defense workers look the area where a couple was killed after their home was destroyed by a mudslide in Arraijan on the outskirts of Panama City, Tuesday. Civil defense officials in Panama say the country has already seen three deaths blamed on late-season Tropical Storm Otto.[Associated Press]
  3. Unusually late Hurricane Otto takes aim at Central America


    MANAGUA, Nicaragua — An unusually late-season Hurricane Otto swirled over the Caribbean just off Central America on Wednesday and headed toward landfall in Nicaragua after regaining strength.

    Workers cut a tree that fell and killed a boy outside a school in Panama City on Tuesday. [Associated Press]
  4. Unusually late Hurricane Otto takes aim at Central America


    PANAMA CITY — An unusually late Hurricane Otto swirled over the Caribbean just off Central America, heading toward a possible landfall in Costa Rica, which hasn't seen such a storm since reliable record-keeping began in 1851.

  5. A month after Hurricane Matthew, 800,000 Haitians urgently need food


    FONDTOUTANU, Haiti — There is no food, so along the road through the mountains there are children begging for something to eat. Most of the trucks rumble past with donations for somewhere else. But one stopped here the other day with sacks of rice, beans and dried herring, setting off a stampede.

    As the sun rises on badly hit town of Jeremie, the capital city of the Grand'Anse department, Merline Charles, 21, sits on a concrete slab which once was her home. On the left is her son, Sander Dore, 1, and her daughter, Widlove Adonia, 4, is on the right. [Sarah L. Voisin | Washington Post]
  6. FEMA closes Hermine recovery centers but is still taking applications for relief


    HUDSON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is closing its Gulf Coast disaster recovery centers opened in the wake of Hurricane Hermine late this summer.

    FEMA applicant service specialists Lori Ogas, standing, and Rosa Espinoza work at the Mike Fasano shelter on their last day of service Wednesday.
  7. Resilience and helping hands power Cedar Key through recovery after Hermine

    Human Interest

    CEDAR KEY — One night last month the Gulf of Mexico, roused and angered by Hurricane Hermine, swallowed Cedar Key.

    Gina Stefani and her husband, Peter, are rebuilding their Island Room Restaurant. The flag is a symbol of the island’s resilience.
  8. FEMA opens Hurricane Hermine disaster centers in Hernando, Hillsborough


    TAMPA — Federal authorities Friday announced the opening of additional disaster recovery centers to help residents cope with storm and flood losses from Hurricane Hermine.

  9. 'I cry and pray': Keeping vigil amid North Carolina floods


    GREENVILLE, N.C. — Anita Van Beveren has been returning day after day to watch the brown floodwater creep toward the rental home she shares with her two teenage children. While she got many belongings out, they couldn't move everything — a bicycle is chained to a back deck surrounded by water.

    Caitlyn Cain, left, and friend Sidney Daniels inspect flooding after Hurricane Matthew near Cain's old home on Wednesday in Greenville, N.C. [Associated Press]
  10. Hurricane Nicole pummels Bermuda with winds up to 115 mph


    HAMILTON, Bermuda — Hurricane Nicole roared across Bermuda on Thursday, pummeling the resort island with winds up to 115 mph that snapped trees and peeled off roofs.

    Wind and surf picks up as Hurricane Nicole approaches the Coope's Island Nature Reserve in St. Georges, Bermuda, on Wednesday. [Associated Press]
  11. 'Extremely dangerous' Hurricane Nicole to pummel Bermuda


    HAMILTON, Bermuda — The British territory of Bermuda hunkered down overnight as Hurricane Nicole rapidly strengthened into a major Category 4 storm and took aim at the tiny island in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

    Wind and surf picks up as Hurricane Nicole approaches the Coope's Island Nature Reserve in St. Georges, Bermuda, on Wednesday. [Associated Press]
  12. FEMA teams assessing Hurricane Matthew damage in Florida


    TALLAHASSEE — State officials say teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are starting to assess damage caused by Hurricane Matthew across northeast Florida.

    A no swimming flag flies last week on Clearwater Beach which was windy and rough, according to lifeguards, due to sustained winds   from Hurricane Matthew, which was on the other side of the state.[ JIM DAMASKE   |   Times ]
  13. Closed restaurants, damaged homes: Matthew may cost $10 billion


    For a storm that inflicted less damage than many had feared, Hurricane Matthew nevertheless impaired or destroyed more than 1 million structures, forced businesses from Florida to North Carolina to close and put thousands temporarily out of work.

    Ryan Christian and Delores Miller canoe down W Fifth Street Tuesday after checking on Miller's elderly mother's home in downtown Lumberton after Hurricane Matthew caused downed trees, power outages and massive flooding along the Lumber River in Lumberton, N.C. [News & Observer via Associated Press]