Decide Early On To Stay Or To Go
The primary rule is that you should be looking to avoid high water or flooding, not high winds. Water is the big killer in hurricanes, in fact, ninety percent of hurricane deaths historically can be attributed to water. The exception to this rule is manufactured homes. Residents of manufactured housing should evacuate no matter what the proximity to flood zones.
If you live in a high risk area or manufactured housing, consider leaving even before an actual evacuation order is issued. Being caught on clogged highways during the intensity of a storm can be quite dangerous. Leaving early also increases your opportunity to find vacancies at shelters or inland hotels. Other alternatives are nearby neighbors who live in more secure housing as long as they are a safe proximity from flood areas.
Use shelters only as last resort. There are serious overcrowding issues, as the Tampa Bay area simply does not have enough shelters to go around. Even if you get in, you will not be comfortable. Look to other alternatives first.
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Weather Alert Radios Save Lives
NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information directly from a nearby National Weather Service office . NWR broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day.
Working with the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Emergency Alert System , NWR is an "All Hazards" radio network, making it your single source for comprehensive weather and emergency information. In conjunction with Federal, State, and Local Emergency Managers and other public officials, NWR also broadcasts warning and post-event information for all types of hazards - including natural (such as earthquakes or avalanches), environmental (such as chemical releases or oil spills), and public safety (such as AMBER alerts or 911 Telephone outages).
For more information on emergency preparedness: