1. Hurricane

The latest on hurricane preparations: Hillsborough County

Do you live in Hillsborough County? Here’s what you need to know about Hurricane Dorian.
Anthony Tamargo, 52, of Tampa, gets his allotment of sandbags Thursday at MacFarlane Park in preparation for Hurricane Dorian. [OCTAVIO JONES | TIMES | Times]
Published Aug. 29
Updated Aug. 29

Today only: Free puppies until 7 p.m.!

Hillsborough County’s conservation parks and preserves will be closed Friday through Labor Day. The closure will free up about 150 County employees to help with sandbagging efforts.

Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center also will be closed on Friday through Labor Day. Fees are waived today, Thursday, for all ready-to-go pets. The Pet Resource Center closes at 7 p.m.

Sandbags in the city of Tampa

The city of Tampa has opened a sandbag location for city residents at three locations. The sites will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday:

Himes Avenue Complex, 4501 S Himes Ave.

MacFarlane Park, 1700 N MacDill Ave.

Al Barnes Park, 2902 N 32nd St.

Residents must show identification to verify they live in the city limits. Acceptable forms include a valid driver’s license, utility bill or electric bill. There is a limit of 10 bags per person.

RELATED: With a Tampa hang tag on your rear-view mirror, you’ll get back home quicker

Sandbags, evacuation and staying connected

Hillsborough County emergency officials are urging people to follow their emergency plan and make preparations as Hurricane Dorian approaches Florida.

Emergency Operations Center

Hillsborough County, out of an abundance of caution, has partially activated its Emergency Operations Center. A limited activation of the center allows the county and partner agencies to better monitor the storm track and coordinate resources and operations if necessary.


Hillsborough County will make sandbags available to the public 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at three County parks.

Edward Medard Conservation Park, 6140 Turkey Creek Road, Plant City

E.G. Simmons Conservation Park, 2401 19th Ave. NW, Ruskin

Ed Radice Park, 14720 Ed Radice Drive, Tampa

Hillsborough County residents are eligible for up to 10 sandbags per family by showing a drivers license, utility bill or other proof they live in the county.More information is at

More information is at (813) 272-5900 to request additional information or visit

Shelters and evacuations

Hillsborough County has not opened any shelters or issued any evacuations at this time.

Evacuation zone

Visit for a link to Hillsborough County’s Hurricane Evacuation Assessment Tool, known as HEAT, to find which of the five evacuation zones you live in and information on s

Getting connected

Residents and visitors can register for HCFL Alert, Hillsborough County’s official public notification system for emergency and urgent alerts.

To receive messages by email, phone, and text, go to

Check on prescriptions

The Florida Department of Health is urging people to refill their prescription medications, making sure you have at least a minimum two-week supply and that medicine has not expired.

Those who take prescription medication should also keep a list of all their prescription medications, dosages and any other special instructions with their emergency medication supply.

Under Florida law, people can obtain a 30-day refill of their prescription medication — even if they have just refilled it — if they reside in a county that:

Is under a hurricane warning issued by the National Weather Service, is under a state of emergency executive order declared by the governor, or has activated its emergency operations center/emergency management plan.

Under these circumstances, any health insurer, managed care organization or other entity licensed by the state must waive the “refill too soon” restrictions on prescriptions.

2019 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at

PREPARE YOUR STUFF: Get your documents and your data ready for a storm

BUILD YOUR KIT: The stuff you’ll need to stay safe — and comfortable — for the storm

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can’t get ready for a storm. That’s your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

What Michael taught the Panhandle and Tampa Bay

What the Panhandle’s top emergency officials learned from Michael

‘We’re not going to give up.’ What a school superintendent learned from Michael

What Tampa Bay school leaders fear most from a storm

Tampa Bay’s top cops fear for those who stay behind


  1. The projected path for Tropical Storm Nestor, according to the National Hurricane Center. National Hurricane Center
    Tampa Bay should expect wind and rain tonight into Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service
  2. The sun sets over a slab which once served as a foundation for a home on Mexico Beach in May. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Area leaders fear lower population numbers will lead to reduced federal funding and political representation.
  3. The projected path for Potential Tropical Cyclone 16, according to the National Hurricane Center. National Hurricane Center
    Thunderstorms have been spotted off the west coast of Florida as Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 moves over the central Gulf of Mexico.
  4. The tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that’s projected to strengthen as it approaches Florida could put a crimp ― or much worse ― in Tampa Bay’s weekend plans. National Hurricane Center
    The National Weather Service warns that the Gulf of Mexico disturbance could strengthen and bring wind, rain and possibly tornadoes to the bay area.
  5. A broad area of low pressure headed toward the Gulf of Mexico will bring wind, rain and possibly tornadoes to the Tampa Bay area this weekend. National Hurricane Center
    The National Hurricane Center has issued a storm surge watch for Florida’s Gulf Coast from Indian Pass to Clearwater.
  6. This satellite image shows Hurricane Michael on Oct. 9, 2018, as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall near Mexico Beach in the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm. Florida State University professor Wenyuan Fan said the storm probably created "stormquakes" offshore in the gulf, too. [Photo courtesy of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration]] NOAA
    Analysis of a decade of records shows hurricanes causing seismic activity on continental shelf
  7. Tropical depression 15 has formed in the eastern Atlantic. National Weather Service
    The newly formed system joins a tropical wave off the coast of South America.
  8. Peggy Wood, center, attends a community announcement with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, in Mexico Beach in September. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The Wood family presses forward with plans to rebuild the Driftwood Inn amid a changing town.
  9.  Mexico Beach, one year anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Michael. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    One year later, Mexico Beach is still recovering from the Category 5 storm.
  10. Meteorologists are keeping watch on a system in the mid-Atlantic that could develop into a tropical storm sometime in the next two days. A system off the eastern coast of Florida will bring heavy rainfall to the state before moving to the east, north of the Bahamas. National Weather Service
    While the chance of further development is low, the system will bring heavy rains to the state.