Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Atlantic Hurricane Season  

HurricaneThe 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially kicks off June 1 and runs through November 30. This is the peak time of year for hazardous storms to develop that may threaten Florida's shores.

The best plan for dealing with a hurricane is to be prepared and have a plan. Pinellas County has put together an extensive list of resources available to residents on its Emergency Management website.

All of Indian Shores is in Evacuation Zone A. You can see the Evacuation Zone and Shelters map at the Pinellas County Know Your Zone webpage.

Please refer to the links below for additional information on getting prepared.

Severe weather doesn't have to be classified as a "Tropical Storm" or a "Hurricane" to be deadly. Florida is known as the Lightning Capital of the United States. Hurricanes and tropical storms garner much media attention because when they strike, they impact many lives and valuable property. However, it is lightning that is the #1 weather killer in the state. Whenever there is a thunderstorm in the area, it is always a good idea to seek shelter.
 
During an emergency activation you can call the Citizen Information Center at (727) 464-4333 for more information.

Important Phone Numbers and Websites

Pinellas County Emergency Management: (727) 464-3800 | www.pinellascounty.org/emergency

Follow Pinellas County Emergency Management on Twitter | twitter.com/PinellasEM

Download the new Ready Pinellas app | www.pinellascounty.org/readypinellas

Sign up for Pinellas County's Emergency Notification Service Alert Pinellas | www.pinellascounty.org/alertpinellas

Set your Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) equipped all-hazards alert radio for Pinellas County: Enter code 012103

If you know someone who would like to receive the e-Lert newsletter, have them visit www.pinellascounty.org/emergency/subscribe.htm.

Lightning Safety Tips  

"If you can see it, flee it; if you can hear it, clear it."

                                                                               FL Lightning Strike   

1. PLAN in advance your evacuation and safety measures. When you first see lightning or hear thunder, activate your emergency plan. Now is the time to go to a building or a vehicle. Lightning often precedes rain, so don't wait for the rain to begin before suspending activities.

2. IF OUTDOORS...Avoid water. Avoid the high ground. Avoid open spaces. Avoid all metal objects including electric wires, fences, machinery, motors, power tools, etc. Unsafe places include underneath canopies, small picnic or rain shelters, or near trees. Where possible, find shelter in a substantial building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle such as a car, truck or a van with the windows completely shut. If lightning is striking nearby when you are outside, you should:

A. Crouch down. Put feet together. Place hands over ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.

B. Avoid proximity (minimum of 15 ft.) to other people.

3. IF INDOORS... Avoid water. Stay away from doors and windows. Do not use the telephone. Take off head sets. Turn off, unplug, and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools, & TV sets. Lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines, inducing shocks to inside equipment.

4. SUSPEND ACTIVITIES for 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder.

5. INJURED PERSONS do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. Apply First Aid procedures to a lightning victim if you are qualified to do so. Call 911 or send for help immediately.

6. KNOW YOUR EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBERS.

Post-Disaster Consumer Tips

One of your most critical post-disaster recovery issues may be the hiring of a competent, licensed contractor. Pinellas County Consumer Protection offers the following suggestions:

  1. Watch out for "fly-by-night" contractors who take deposits and do not do any work. Never deal with any contractor soliciting work at your house.
  2. Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Verify that the license is current and active by calling the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board at (727) 582-3100.
  3. Ask for and check references of previous customers.
  4. Get at least 3 estimates. Be certain the estimates are itemized and for the same work.
  5. Avoid a contractor who asks for advance payment in full. Always avoid paying in cash.
  6. Beware of any contractor who asks you, as the homeowner, to obtain the building permit. 
  7. Most repair work will require a permit. For questions, contact our Building Department at (727) 517-3940 or email buildingofficial@myindianshores.com.
  8. Never let anyone into your home without first asking for identification.

For more Post-Disaster Consumer Tips click on the link below:

Report Building Damage

Please report any building damage to the Indian Shores Building Department at (727) 517-3940 or email buildingofficial@myindianshores.com.  

Cleanup and Recovery

  • Waste Connections is back on its normal waste pickup and recycling pickup. 
  • Debris contractors have begun debris collection from the right-of- ways. There will be 3 passes in total which will take 6 - 8 weeks.
  • Residents should place their debris in sorted piles at the public right-of-way for curbside collection by debris crews. Debris will be collected and taken to a temporary storage site to ultimately be recycled or disposed of.
    Residents are asked to sort debris by item type and place in separate piles.

These are the specific items that can be moved to the curbside for collection:

Construction and demolition debris

  • Building material including roof shingles and siding
  • Drywall
  • Lumber
  • Carpet
  • Furniture
  • Plumbing

Vegetation Debris - Fallen tree branches and logs

Residents are asked to take the following steps to make the debris removal process easier:

  • Sort debris by type and place in separate piles.
  • Do not stack debris against trees, poles, fire hydrants and storm drains.
  • Do not place debris on sidewalks or farther back than 10-feet beyond the curb. 
  • Do not use plastic bags when placing your debris curbside.
  • Yard waste and storm debris must be sorted and brought to the curb (right-of-way). 
  • For specific information you can contact Pinellas County Public Works at (727) 464-8900 or visit  www.pinellascounty.org/publicworks.

Sandbag Disposal

Pinellas County encourages residents to properly recycle or dispose of their sandbags.

For sandbags that did not come into contact with floodwaters:

  • Spread sand on lawns or landscape beds and recycle the bag or place it in your garbage.
  • Keep and store clean sandbags in preparation for future events.

For sandbags that have come into contact with floodwaters:

  • Bring used sandbags, separated from other waste, to the Pinellas County Solid Waste Disposal Facility, 3095 114th Ave. N., St. Petersburg. Free of charge
  • Sandbags that have come in contact with floodwater can become contaminated with bacteria, produce odors and are considered dirty.
  • The sand brought to Solid Waste will be stockpiled, tested and analyzed.  All non-contaminated sand will be recovered and reused for future county projects and/or sandbag issuance.
  • Please do not dispose of any sand or full sandbags in your regular trash. The sand does not burn and will not convert to energy in the County’s waste-to-energy facility.
  • Furthermore, do not mix sandbags with yard debris. The sand is abrasive and damages equipment used to grind yard debris into mulch.
  • For more information, please call the Department of Solid Waste at (727) 464-7500.