Best Resources For Emergency Preparedness In Tampa Bay

February 1, 2013 8:00 AM

Preparation is a key element in handling a disaster. Having an evacuation plan and enough supplies such as food and medicine is a necessity in an emergency situation. The Office of Emergency Management suggests that all homes have food, water and medications for at least three days stored in a box somewhere in the home in case of an emergency. It also recommends having matches, blankets and open-fire cooking utensils available. Check out these resources to be ready for anything in Tampa Bay.
City of Tampa
306 E. Jackson St.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 274-8211

This government website has lots of important information about emergency preparedness. There are forms that can be filled out to reserve a placement in a special needs shelter, as well as a list of emergency phone numbers for the various counties in the Tampa Bay area. The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) suggests that residents assemble a “Go Bag” that contains emergency health information, medications, pet’s supplies, tire repair kits and any medical equipment needed. Another suggestion by OEM was for residents to prepare at least three-days worth of food, water, supplies for pets and contact information for all family doctors and pharmacists. The website also recommends developing a disaster plan for your family. Finally, the website provides links to other websites that contain information to assist residents in preparing for emergencies.

AvMed Health Plans
1511 N. Westshore Blvd., Suite 450
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 281-5650

The AvMed Health Plans website contains a list of links to websites on emergency preparedness for each county in the Tampa Bay area. There is also a list of links for state and federal emergency preparedness information.

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Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council
4000 Gateway Centre Blvd., Suite 100
Pinellas Park, FL 33782
(727) 570-5151

The Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council has made the 2012 hurricane guide available on its website. Residents can request a paper copy or download the PDF version of the guide and print it out at home. The website offers information on how to protect yourself during an emergency, how to protect your business in a disaster and how residents can volunteer to help out during and after a disaster strikes. There is also a list of how students and families can be prepared for an emergency.

Hillsborough County Office of Emergency Management
2711 E. Hanna Ave.
Tampa, FL 33610
(813) 236-3800

The Hillsborough County Office of Emergency Management offers an online hurricane evacuation assessment tool and educational events and training to help citizens prepare for a disaster. Hillsborough County’s OEM office also coordinates the Citizen Corps, Amateur Radio Services, Citizen Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and local emergency planning committees.

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Manatee County Government
Manatee Board of County Commissioners
1112 Manatee Ave. W.
Bradenton, FL 34205
(941) 748-4501

The Manatee County Government office offers disaster event planning, disaster training for emergency responders and public education seminars on all types of hazards that could possibly happen in Florida. There is a lot of information on determining an evacuation route, preparing a disaster plan, creating an emergency supply kit and filing the paperwork to be on the special needs registry.

Katherine Bostick is a freelance writer covering all things Tampa Bay. Her work can be found on

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