Pinellas County monitoring Hurricane Matthew
Pinellas County Emergency Management is closely monitoring Hurricane Matthew and advising residents to stay updated on the weather and ensure plans are in place. To help keep residents informed, the Citizen Information Center will be open on Wednesday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Citizens may call (727) 464-4333 with general questions.
According to the National Weather Service, the effect of Hurricane Matthew on Florida is uncertain, but it is possible that a western shift in the predicted track could bring storm conditions to Pinellas County.
On Monday, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for every Florida county due to the hurricane threat. At this time, the county's Emergency Operations Center is not activated, but officials are proactively monitoring the weather and asking residents to prepare.
"Public safety is a priority for us as a county, so we are definitely keeping a close watch on Matthew's track and preparing for any possible impact the storm could have on our area. We urge our residents and visitors to do the same," said Pinellas County Commission Chairman Charlie Justice.
Residents are reminded to review and finalize preparedness plans. Some of the recommended steps residents are asked to take include:
- Sign up for Alert Pinellas to receive emergency notifications via phone, email or text message.
- Stay tuned for weather updates through weather alert radios, local media outlets, the county website and county social media accounts.
- Review additional tips and planning tools in the 2016 All Hazards Guide, available in English and Spanish.
- Know your evacuation zone, which can be found online or by downloading the Pinellas County Doing Things mobile app.
- Review disaster plans for your family, business and property.
- Get your survival kit and important papers ready. Purchase any items you will need to complete your survival kit now to avoid long lines and limited supplies.
- If you have special needs, be sure your caregiver begins to implement your plan. If you have no other options, register for special needs shelters by calling Emergency Management at (727) 582-2600 or by contacting the local fire department.
Since October is historically the third busiest month for hurricane development, Emergency Management officials urge residents to remain vigilant throughout the hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30.