As Hurricane Ian makes landfall in southwestern Florida, state officials are asking residents who are sheltering in place to provide some critical information that can be relayed to first responders in case of an emergency.
The shelter-in-place survey asks for some basic information such as the address where you are, how many people are with you, if you have any pets, etc.
In a press conference Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said most people in evacuation zones left, but some residents “chose to stay.” He said it is particularly important for those residents to fill out the form so that first responders in these hazardous areas can identify those who may need help.
The state is asking the U.S. Department of Defense for additional airlift hoists and high-water vehicles to aid efforts to help people in areas that have been highly impacted by Ian, DeSantis said.
More than 300,000 people in the Tampa Bay area were told to evacuate. Pinellas County had mandatory evacuation orders for zones A, B and C. Hillsborough County had a mandatory evacuation for zones A and B.
In the Tampa Bay area Wednesday morning, large amounts of water from the bay drained out into the Gulf of Mexico as Ian approached — a result of its location north of the storm’s center as the winds turned counterclockwise toward the Gulf. The anticipated storm surge has not yet gushed back into the bay, but Tampa Bay is expected to get as much as 4 to 6 feet of storm surge from Ian, according to the National Hurricane Center.
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2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide
ROAD CLOSURES: What to know about bridges, roads as Hurricane Ian approaches.
HOW TO TALK TO KIDS ABOUT THE HURRICANE: A school mental health expert says to let them know what’s happening, keep a routine and stay calm.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN A SHELTER: What to bring — and not bring — plus information on pets, keeping it civil and more.
WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.
SAFEGUARD YOUR HOME: Storms and property damage go hand in hand. Here’s how to prepare.
IT'S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.
RISING THREAT: Tampa Bay will flood. Here's how to get ready.
DOUBLE-CHECK: Checklists for building all kinds of hurricane kits
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Rising Threat: A special report on flood risk and climate change
INTERACTIVE MAP: Search your Tampa Bay neighborhood to see the hurricane flood risk.