The first big storm of the season for Florida looks to be headed our way. Pinellas County is monitoring Hurricane Elsa, and advises residents to finalize their storm plans now.
The National Hurricane Center has Pinellas County in the five-day forecast of the storm. Though the forecast is still highly uncertain, Pinellas is expecting potential high winds, rain, and flooding or storm surge as early as Monday, July 5. County crews are already preparing drainage systems and roadways to reduce the risk of flooding.
For residents with hurricane prep questions, the County Information Center is open at 727-464-4333. Residents who are deaf or hard of hearing can contact the CIC via online chat at bit.ly/PinellasChat.
The county advises all residents to have a plan in the event you need to shelter in place or evacuate. You can find your evacuation zone at pinellascounty.org/knowyourzone or call 727-453-3150 and enter your 10-digit home phone number.
Residents can also sign up for Alert Pinellas at pinellascounty.org/alertpinellas and review tips and planning tools in the 2020 All Hazard Guide online at pinellascounty.org/emergency, including shelter information, sandbag location and hurricane supply recommendations.
For those who require special needs shelter accommodations, you can by calling the County Information Center at 727-464-4333, even if you are transporting yourself to the shelter. Registration is required for those needing transportation assistance. Residents only need to register for special needs shelters once per season, so doing it now will help you for the rest of the year.
Sign up for pet shelters now by visiting pinellascounty.org/emergency/petpreparedness.
There are numerous sites where county residents can access sandbags before the storm. Please check ahead for site hours and availability:
Gulfport has not yet opened up a sand bag site, but the city will open a emergency hotline for residents soon.
County-wide services: pinellascounty.org/emergency/sandbags.htm