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Sarasota County urges community to take action now for hurricane season

Post Date:05/29/2024 9:30 AM

SARASOTA COUNTY - The start of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is just days away, on June 1, and Sarasota County Emergency Management urges residents to prepare and stay alert until the season ends on Nov. 30.

"Now is the time to take the steps you need to prepare your family pets, home or business. Know the risks you may face, like storm surge and strong winds. Stay informed throughout the season to help you be as prepared as possible," said Sarasota County Emergency Services Director Rich Collins.

"Every storm is different. Do not base your decisions on the last storm or wait until a storm is approaching. Have plans and take action to prepare you and your family now, before hurricane season starts. Know what you will do if you need to evacuate, have a stocked disaster supply kit and a way to stay informed to ensure you're prepared for an emergency," Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Sandra Tapfumaneyi added. 

Emergency Management officials recommend updating emergency plans, ensuring contact information is current, refreshing disaster supply kits and checking in on neighbors if possible, especially those new to the area.

A crucial part of a preparedness plan is purchasing flood insurance as homeowners’ and renters’ insurance may not cover flood damage. Learn more about flood insurance

For information about how to prepare for hurricane season and available resources such as the disaster preparedness guide, visit


Know Your Risk and Your Home: Evacuation plans are crucial in knowing where to go if a home is not safe and should include knowing when to evacuate. According to Sarasota County Emergency Management officials, there may be risk for storm surge even if water can't be seen from home.

Check and memorize your hurricane evacuation level. Enter your address in the map online at to learn your level.

Manufactured homes, RVs, boats and homes that are not able to withstand strong winds or heavy rains are not safe during a hurricane. Mobile homes, boats and RVs are always in evacuation level A, regardless of where they are in the county.

Be Prepared: Create an evacuation plan, a communications plan, and a disaster kit that fits the specific needs of a household, including pets, for up to 10 days.

Learn more about sales tax holidays for select disaster preparedness and home hardening supplies at

Residents in low-lying areas, barrier islands manufactured homes and boats should prepare an evacuation plan and know where they will go in the event they need to leave their home.

Those not in an evacuation level with homes built to code after 2002 may be more comfortable sheltering in place, but should still be prepared for power outages or flooding.

Have a well-supplied disaster kit as resources and support may not be available within the first week of a storm.

Those with qualifying medical needs should complete the Medically Dependent online application. Online applications will stop being accepted at 48 hours prior to expected impact of a storm.

Those who need transportation to an evacuation center should fill out the online form. The registration process will close when a storm's landfall is expected within 72 hours.

Keep vehicle’s gas tanks at least half full throughout hurricane season to ensure having enough fuel to evacuate to avoid gas shortages and waiting in long lines before a storm. Electric vehicles should be moved away from homes. 

Stay Informed: Sign up for Alert Sarasota County or the Sarasota County emergency newsletter to stay informed in the event of an emergency on

Monitor local media and Sarasota County social media accounts for important preparedness information. Follow directions of local officials and have a flashlight and battery-operated or hand-crank radio available in the event the power goes out.

For more information on how to prepare for hurricane season, visit or call 311 in Sarasota County.

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