Tips for staying safe during Hurricane Idalia

Here’s what you need to know as the first major storm of the 2023 Hurricane Season approaches the Gulf Coast of Florida.


A look at the Tampa Bay area’s storm surge prediction

Grpahic via the National Weather Service

Table of Contents

The first major storm of the 2023 season, Hurricane Idalia, is closely approaching the Gulf Coast of Florida. Idalia is expected to hit Tampa Bay on Wednesday, as of 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The National Hurricane Center predicts the Tampa Bay area could see storm surge between 4-7 feet, heavy rainfall, and hurricane/tropical storm force winds, as of 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Weathering a storm can be unpredictable, and staying informed is a top priority during a hurricane and in the aftermath. That’s why we’ve compiled need-to-know info + resources to help keep you updated on the latest.

🔋 Storm prep

  • Stock your hurricane kit with these essentials. The Florida Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday kicked off over the weekend and allows residents to pick up generators, batteries, flashlights, and other hurricane essentials without sales tax through Friday, Sept. 8.
  • The City of Tampa is giving out free sandbags at Himes Avenue Complex, Al Barnes Park, and Macfarlane Park — bring proof of Tampa residence to collect up to 10 sandbags.

🛏️ Shelters

  • Hillsborough County opened ten shelters to the general public yesterday. Check availability online.

🏫 Schools

Both Hillsborough County Public Schools and Pinellas County Schools are closed today and tomorrow, Aug. 30, and expected to reopen on Thursday, Aug. 31.

✈️ Tampa International Airport

TPA suspended commercial flights at 12:01 a.m. today and will remain closed “until it can assess any damages later in the week,” according to a release. Residents should check with their airline for the latest flight updates.

🗺️ Storm tracking

Track the storm’s progress through the National Hurricane Center, which provides top news each day, hurricane position updates, and satellite imagery. USA Today also has a storm tracker with an interactive map.

Sign up for the FEMA app to get real-time weather alerts, send notifications to friends + family, and locate emergency shelters.

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