Today, the board of county commissioners voted for evacuations for Pinellas County zone A. (Update: Lebel B is also being evacuated) The evacuations take effect tomorrow morning at 6am. Local shelter open at noon. You’ll want to double check your evacuation flood zone if you haven’t looked since the flood zoning changes were made. PDF Map: Evacuation_Zones_Pinellas_County_&_Shelter_Options There’s also an interactive flood zone map with more closely detailed zones, but it seems to be overloaded with site traffic at the moment. The zone I live in used to be in a D zone, but it’s been moved up to a C zone, so your zone might also have changed. If your in an evacuation area you have some options. You can go to a shelter, probably ideally into a zone where there is no threat of high water (white areas on the map). You could also find someone you know who lives on higher ground to stay with for a day a two. There is also the option of staying right where you are; but don’t forget, if you do stay, you may not receive any help from first responders for an extended period of time. Pinellas County will be voting tomorrow on whether or not to evacuate flood zones B and C, so the higher you can get the better. Again, B is also being evacuated as of Saturday.
If your in a zone that isn’t being evacuated, you’ll again want to double check that your ready for the worst. A useful thing to have prepared for a storm like this is something called a 72 hour kit. A 72 hour kit is a kit of items that will help you survive reasonably comfortably for up to 72 hours. Most disaster victims usually get help within 72 hours. The items in a disaster kit list include things like food, water, and flashlights. A disaster kit might look something like this:
Again, prepare for the worst. If you prepare for the worst you might just be pleasantly surprised.