With tropical storm activity forecast to affect the Tampa Bay area this weekend, now is the time to prepare and Sheriff Chad Chronister has some tips to keep you and your family safe.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is transitioning to storm mode now, which means, a number of high water response assets like high water recovery vehicles, small boats, air boats, and canoes will be pre-positioned.
“The best way to weather a storm is to prepare before it gets here. While we will always stand ready and be there when we are called, we want to make sure you are ready with us,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “The Sheriff’s office is prepared and we’re asking everyone to prepare as well.”
Storm Safety Do's and Dont's:
What is your Community's flood risk?
There are different reasons a community may flood; storm surge, river flooding, or heavy rainfall. Low-lying or poorly drained areas can also increase a community's flood risk. To protect yourself, learn what flood threats affect your community.
Determine if there are rivers or creeks that flood frequently.
Is your home located in a low-lying area?
Determine your home's elevation.
Before the flood reaches your area:
- Know if flood waters might affect your home and property.
- Know your elevation above flood stage and which flood zone you are in.
- Develop a flood emergency action plan.
- Evacuate immediately, if advised to do so.
- Bring important documents with you.
- Move to a safe area before access is cut off as emergency services may be hindered by the same flood waters.
- Keep abreast of road conditions through the news media.
During the flood:
- Avoid areas subject to flooding. Do not attempt to cross flowing water.
- Never drive through flooded roadways. Nearly half of all people killed in floods are those who try driving through flooded areas.
- Do not drive around barricades, they are there for your protection.
- If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately.
- Never try to walk through or allow children to play around flood water. Dangerous undertows and rip currents may be present even in shallow water.
After the flood:
- Do not visit disaster areas, your presence may hamper emergency operations.
- Throw out food that has come into contact with the floodwater and boil drinking water before using it.
- Stay out of buildings that remain in flood waters.
- Do not handle live electrical equipment in wet areas.
- If the power is out, use flashlights to examine buildings. Flammables may be inside.
- Report broken utilities to the correct authorities.
Additional hazard information can be found at www.floridadisaster.org