In 2015, a report published in Nature Climate Change by Kerry Emanuel of MIT and Ning Lin of Princeton University analyzed hurricane models within six different global climate models, and the results were mind-boggling. These results showed that there are three vulnerable areas of the world that are most at risk for a "high-end" Category 5 (there is talk of creating a Category 6) tropical cyclone by the end of the 21st century due to the Earth's changing climate: Tampa, Florida, Cairns, Australia and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. These potential Category 6 hurricanes may be up to 14 times more likely by 2100, according to the study. The worst-case potential future hurricane put out by the climate models for the Tampa Bay area is unlike anything ever seen – maximum sustained winds of 233 mph, traveling parallel along Florida's Gulf Coast, producing a devastating 36-foot storm surge. There is a very real probability that the Tampa Bay area may, in the foreseeable future, be the target of a hurricane surpassing any in recorded history. It isn't a matter of "IF" but a matter of "WHEN".
If you have ever tried to navigate the official county Emergency Management websites in the Tampa Bay area, trying to gather all the information you'd need to prepare for the hurricane season and to survive a major hurricane, you would have found it to be a monumental task. Every little bit of information you're trying to gather leads you through a tangle of links like a Watership Down like maze of tunnels. You'll find a hodge-podge of contradictory and often useless information that only encourages you to quit before you've even gotten anything beyond what's in that Hurricane Guide at the grocery store checkout line.
The Tampa Bay Hurricane Planner is a project I started about 5 years ago and, after numerous attempts to refine it into something useful and user friendly, I finally have a finished website that I believe is as easy to use as it will ever be. The Tampa Bay Hurricane Planner presents a simple, 4 step process that will result in a complete, customized plan for you and your family, including your pets, that encompasses everything you'll need to prepare for each hurricane season, ready yourself for an approaching hurricane, weather a major storm as it passes and keep you and your family safe during the aftermath. After the 4-step process, which should take less than 45 minutes, you'll have a printed package including such things as planned emergency meet-up places, family contact numbers, services for special needs individuals and what your pets need. You will also have information about emergency alert systems, evacuation zones, evacuation routes, emergency shelters and county evacuation transportation specific for your county (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee or Sarasota).
I believe this hurricane planner could be the best tool for anyone living in the Tampa Bay area, especially those living in the at-risk coastal communities subject to storm surge. Try it and, if you agree, please share the link to my website to everyone you can.