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2017 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.)


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. New hurricane forecast predicts an above-average 2017 storm season


    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts an above-average Atlantic storm season this year, both in the number and the strength of those storms.

    This is a satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) taken Oct. 3, 2016 as Hurricane Matthew and its 145-mph winds was about 220 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. NOAA on Thursday released a forecast predicting an above-average hurricane season in 2017, which conflicts with an earlier Colorado State University forecast that calls for a below-average season. (NOAA via AP)
  2. Researchers find new way to measure hurricanes: 'gravity waves'


    MIAMI — Hurricane forecasters may have a new tool in solving the vexing problem of understanding storm intensity: gravity waves.

    In 2011, Hurricane Irene brushed the coast of Florida. University of Miami atmospheric scientists have for the first time measured gravity waves inside hurricanes, which could provide a new way to monitor the intensity of powerful storms. [NOAA via AP]
  3. 2017 Hurricane Season: Pet owners must come up with a plan for their animals before the storm strikes


    When it's storming outside, your cats and dogs will (likely) be hiding under the bed instead of preparing themselves for an evacuation.

    When it's storming outside, your cats and dogs will (likely) be hiding under the bed instead of preparing themselves for an evacuation.

  4. Names for the 2017 Atlantic tropical storms


    What's in a name?

    Here are the storm names for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season:




















  5. 2017 Hurricane Season: Could you survive a storm? Time to freshen up your hurricane kit


    Floridians had 11 hurricane-free years to stock up on canned goods, batteries and first aid kits before Hurricane Hermine struck the west coast in September.

  6. Just imagine: 1.5 million in evacuation gridlock as a hurricane aims at Tampa Bay


    Tampa Bay traffic is already a slog. Now imagine hundreds of thousands of people using those same interstates at the same time, all trying to escape in the same direction, while a hurricane churns toward land.

    Traffic is seen along the westbound side of Interstate 4 in the Champions Gate area Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. Residents within the path hurricane of Matthew were urged to evacuate as the storm approached Florida.
  7. New storm surge model means new hurricane evacuation maps for Tampa Bay (they're just not ready yet)


    New, up-to-date storm surge data from the National Hurricane Center has thrown a monkey wrench into Tampa Bay's evacuation planning just two weeks before the start of hurricane season.

    The Hillsborough River reaches the edge of its bank Sept. 1, 2016, at USF Park on the Tampa Riverwalk during Hurricane Hermine.
  8. 2017 Hurricane Season: Use social media to stay in touch with this storm season


    Social media and technology have dramatically changed the way we bring you information about hurricanes and other natural disasters. For one, the opportunity for and to share information with readers — and from readers — immediately helps make us all better equipped to react if a …

  9. 2017 Hurricane Season: 10Weather WTSP's Bobby Deskins says be prepared, stay informed


    As I wrote to you this time last year, Florida was basking in a nearly 10-year long drought of land-falling hurricanes. Well that streak came to an end during the 2016 Atlantic basin hurricane season as Tropical Storm Hermine passed by our coast and then strengthened to a minimal hurricane right before it made landfall …

    Bobby Deskins is a meteorologist with WTSP 10Weather.
  10. 2017 Hurricane Season: How to protect your documents, home, boat


    Longtime Floridians know the drill. Each year, as the heat and humidity build, forecasters begin their warnings: Hurricane season is upon us, and you'd better take it seriously.

  11. 2017 Hurricane Season: El Niño will decide how active this storm season will be


    If forecasters get it right, the 2017 hurricane season will see fewer storms than normal. Those storms will be of lesser intensity. And there will be less chance they'll make landfall.

    Residents evacuate the flooded Elfers Parkway area of Pasco County as the Anclote River crested at 25.08 feet during Hurricane Hermine.
  12. No, it's too early! Arlene, the season's first tropical storm, forms far from land


    MIAMI — A rare April tropical storm has formed over the north Atlantic.

    A satellite image from the National Hurricane Center shows the first depression of the 2017 hurricane season far out in the Atlantic.