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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. As tropics heat up, you might wonder: What the heck is an Invest99L?


    Before they're worthy of names like Andrew and Katrina, before they become numbered tropical depressions, the blobs of wind and rain that might one day become hurricanes are branded with a designation that sounds more like a mutual fund than meteorology.

    This WTSP10 Weather map shows possible paths for a weather system dubbed Invest99L. Why that name? Because it hasn't become organized enough to earn even a tropical depression number. If it grows into a tropical storm or hurricane, it will be called Hermine.
  2. Forecasters predict Invest 99L could turn into Tropical Storm Hermine, hit Florida


    Meteorologists across Florida were watching weather patterns closely Wednesday as hurricane hunters flew into a developing system that forecasters say could turn into a tropical storm this week.

    An enhanced satellite image shows the location of Invest 99L at 2 a.m. Wednesday. [Weather Underground]
  3. Forecasters: Floridians should keep an eye on low-pressure system just outside Caribbean


    Tropical Storm Gaston was getting stronger over the far eastern Atlantic on Tuesday evening, but it was a smaller storm closer to the Caribbean that had the attention of bay area forecasters.

    An enhanced satellite image shows the location of Invest 99L at 2 p.m. Tuesday. [Weather Underground]
  4. Hurricane Center watching two tropical waves off Africa coast (w/tracking map)


    Right on schedule, the tropics are heating up.

  5. Tropical Storm Fiona getting stronger, but still unlikely to threaten land (w/tracking map)


    MIAMI — The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Fiona was getting a little stronger Thursday morning as it moved across the Atlantic.

  6. Depression in central Atlantic grows into Tropical Storm Fiona (w/tracking map)


    MIAMI — A compact tropical storm formed far in the Atlantic on Wednesday afternoon. It doesn't appear to pose any threat to South Florida.

  7. Forecasters: Brace yourself for this hurricane season to get a lot busier


    MIAMI — U.S. forecasters say it's more likely this could be the busiest Atlantic hurricane season since 2012.

  8. A major hurricane hasn't hit the U.S. Gulf or East Coast in more than a decade. Residents should not get complacent


    Hurricanes, large and small, have eluded U.S. shores for record lengths of time. As population and wealth along parts of the U.S. coast have exploded since the last stormy period, experts dread the potential damage and harm once the drought ends.

    It's been 10 years since a major hurricane has made landfall in the United States. [NASA]
  9. Earl downgraded to tropical storm after drenching Belize (w/tracking map)


    BELMOPAN, Belize — Hurricane Earl deteriorated into a weak tropical storm Thursday as it passed over northern Guatemala en route to southern Mexico.

    A marine gas station is shut down as it prepares for the arrival of Hurricane Earl, in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, on Wednesday. Hurricane Earl bore down on the coast of the Caribbean nation of Belize with the danger of high surf and winds, while also threatening neighboring Guatemala and southern Mexico with torrential rains. [Associated Press]
  10. Earl upgraded to hurricane as it nears Belize (w/tracking map)


    Earl strengthened into a hurricane Wednesday and roared toward a nighttime landfall in the Caribbean nation of Belize as it brushed by Honduras, leaving felled trees and power lines in its wake.

    This NOAA satellite image taken Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016 at 12:45 PM EDT shows Tropical Storm Earl 210 miles south of Grand Cayman with maximum winds of 50 miles per hour. Earl is moving west at 22 miles per hour towards the Yucatan Peninsula. To the east, high pressure brings mostly sunny skies to the eastern Caribbean Sea. [Weather Underground via AP]
  11. Forecasters say there will probably be a tropical storm in the Caribbean within days


    Thunderstorm activity associated with a strong and fast-moving tropical wave located over the east-central Caribbean Sea about 200 miles south of the Dominican Republic increased and became significantly better organized Sunday night into Monday morning.

  12. Dry weather expected in Tampa Bay on first day of summer as Danielle drenches Mexico


    As Mexico braces for Tropical Storm Danielle, the first week of summer is expected to be a relatively normal one in the Tampa Bay area.

    Monica Vernon works out on the beach during sunrise Monday at 6:34 a.m. at North Shore Park in St. Petersburg, on the first day of summer, which  officially begins at 6:34 p.m. DIRK SHADD | Times
  13. Tropical Storm Colin leaves mess across Tampa Bay area


    Tropical Storm Colin had more in store for Tampa Bay on Tuesday after blowing through the region the day before.

    A motorist drives down Meadowlawn Drive near Kingswood Drive in St. Petersburg after Tropical Storm Colin dumped heavy rains over the Tampa Bay area on Tuesday. The city was the hardest hit in the area.