Disaster Preparedness Initiatives
Preparing for disasters to protect lives, homes and businesses is essential for a resilient community. Every hurricane season poses new threats, and Pinellas County analyzes how future climate conditions could impact our residents, business owners, and visitors long term. Below are some of the projects and services that enable the county’s people and infrastructure to be more resilient in the face of natural and man-made hazards.
The Ready Pinellas app helps residents prepare themselves and their families for storm-related impacts. It is available to download for free through the Apple App Store and Google Play store. Updated in 2022, the app offers residents easy access to evacuation information, a readiness checklist and other tools to help them prepare for disasters and stay safe.
Download the Ready Pinellas app
All Hazards Preparedness Guide
One of the greatest hazards that we face in the Tampa Bay area is hurricanes, with the Atlantic Hurricane Season running June 1 to Nov. 30. Pinellas County’s All Hazards Preparedness Guide, updated annually, offers basic steps you can take year-round to keep yourself, your family, and your property safe. The guide provides useful information to help everyone make a plan, whether you are a homeowner or renter, have a special need or know someone who does, and whether you have children, pets or a business.
Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Vulnerability Assessment
To assess the county’s vulnerability to rising seas, the County created flood maps for various sea-level rise scenarios, combined with storm surge and tidal flooding projections, to help identify vulnerable parts of our community and develop solutions to reduce our risk. Results of the study will provide data to the County to assist with design and planning of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, stormwater management systems and drinking water treatment facilities.
Updated Local Mitigation Strategy
The Local Mitigation Strategy (LMS) establishes an ongoing process that makes hazard mitigation part of the daily functioning of the entire community, including both public and private sectors and our residents themselves. Local municipalities, public and private agencies and nonprofit organizations collaborate to update the LMS, which serves as a bridge between local governments, comprehensive growth management plans, the County’s comprehensive emergency management plan, land development regulations, and relevant ordinances and codes such as those for floodplain management. The LMS integrates these “all-hazards” mitigation initiatives into a single document. The plan is updated annually and approved every five years.
Water Systems Risk and Resiliency Assessment
Through three stakeholder workshops and a thorough evaluation process, Pinellas County Utilities conducted a Risk & Resiliency Assessment (RRA) of the County water system, identifying Pinellas County Utilities’ 12 most critical assets. This information will guide future capital investments and an emergency response plan.
Pinellas Flood Map Service
The online Pinellas County Flood Map Service offers interactive maps with flood risk information, including FEMA flood zones, hurricane evacuation zones, storm surge, sea-level rise projections, elevation certificates, and more.
Flood Mitigation Action Plan
In 2021, Pinellas County was awarded a $992,000 Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Community Development Block Grant to fund the creation of a countywide flood mitigation action plan. The project will assess current and future flooding conditions, including extreme weather events and impacts from sea-level rise, and help us reduce Pinellas County’s vulnerability to flooding.