How to prepare for and stay safe during stormy weather

Flooding Safety 101: Keeping your family safe

There are many potential dangers when floodwaters rise. We’ve collected important safety tips that will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to keep your family safe in the event of flooding — because flood safety starts with YOU.

  • Create a plan and have an emergency kit!
  • Avoid standing water. Floodwaters may contain fecal matter, bacteria, and viruses.
  • Don’t drive through moving or standing water. Water 2 feet deep can disable most vehicles.
  • Treat non-functioning traffic signals as a four-way stop.
  • Observe all barricades and detours. They are there for your protection! Clear yard of debris or items that can block water flow and storm drains.
  • Avoid downed power lines. Always assume power lines are live!
  • Watch for workers repairing surfaces, and follow all directional instructions and detour signs. 


Hillsborough County provides sandbag materials for the public, as weather conditions permit.

Storm debris

Tree limbs and other storm-related debris can be placed out for yard waste pick-up on your scheduled day.

Alligators and wildlife

Floods are an opportunity for alligators and other wildlife to enter residential areas. Report them through the toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline: (866) FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).

Mosquito prevention

Standing water breeds mosquitoes. Be sure to drain any standing water and cover items that collect rainwater. Common offenders include: garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots, buckets, watering cans, and kiddie pools. More tips and a schedule of where spraying has recently occurred is available at

Road closures and drainage problems

Due to recent heavy rainfall, even small amounts of additional water may cause standing water in streets, ditches, yards, and low-lying areas. You can report blocked storm drains, potholes, washouts, and other road damage by contacting Hillsborough County at (813) 272-5900 or

Water conservation

When water is falling from the sky (or pooling in your yard), you don’t need to run your irrigation system. If there is flooding in your area, your ground may be saturated even if you do not see standing water. Be sure to comply with County & Southwest Water Management District watering restrictions.

Last Modified: 1/26/2024, 5:34:52 PM

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