As hurricane season begins, local officials are suggesting that you have a safety plan in place.By Casey Albritton

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – As hurricane season begins, local officials are suggesting that you have a safety plan in place.

“We had to go seven days without electricity, but we made it. It was pretty brutal,” said Lynn Metzger, a Clearwater resident.

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Metzger lives in Clearwater, Florida, and says she has never evacuated for a hurricane.

“Financially, you have to be ready for that, and the traffic was already…there was no way we would have gotten out anyways, it was crazy,” said Metzger.

According to a recent survey by AAA, one in four Floridians would ignore a hurricane evacuation warning, and of the other 75% of people, 60% said they would only leave for a category three storm or stronger.

“They cant bring their pets, they don’t have a safe option for them, they don’t know where to go, in case there’s damage to their home, they want to be around to fix that damage, and then they blame financial reasons, maybe they can’t afford the cost of a hotel or gas prices are high,” said Mark Jenkins with AAA.

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CW meteorologist, Collin Myers, says you should listen to local officials recommendations to evacuate, because even weak storms could cause damage, like Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Imelda did.

“Both of those dropped extreme flooding rainfall to the worst landfalling cyclones in U.S. history,” said Myers.

He says you should consider evacuating if a storm is a category two or higher. But if you decide to stay, make sure you have cash, a full tanks of gas, and non-perishable food items.

“Also turn your refrigerator or freezer to the absolute coldest settings. A lot of people don’t do that. If you feel like you’re going to lose power, winds, even a category one can do that, depending on where your house is, turn your fridge and freezers to the coldest settings. The next thing I would do is, if you feel like it’s going to be a major storm, another thing to do is fill the bathroom with clean water,” said Myers.

Metzger says when Hurricane Irma swept across the state, she prepared early, and was able to provide her neighbors with food and water.

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“Don’t wait to the last minute to get your water, your batteries and the things you know you’re going to need. Even food. It’s not foolish to get it way ahead of time,” said Metzger.