HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) – With less than two weeks until the start of hurricane season, Hillsborough County Emergency Management wants to make sure residents are prepared.
“I want everyone to start working on their disaster kits if they do not have one and if they do, they need to take good inventory and replace anything that’s missing or expired,” said Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director, Timothy Dudley.
While you are creating your hurricane kit, county officials also want you to have an evacuation plan in place and know what evacuation zone you are in.
“It’s not based on the amount of rain you get, it’s not based on the wind or the category of the storm, it’s based on the surge impacts that we expect,” said Marcus Martin, Planning Chief for Hillsborough County Emergency Management.
Hillsborough County Emergency Management and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue have a new tool to use this year for hurricane season. It’s called AmbuBus, a school bus that has been transformed into an ambulance.
“It does expand our capability to evacuate people,” said Jay Rajyaguru the Emergency Management Coordinator with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.
AmbuBus will allow HCFR to help transport hospital patients, residents in assisted living facilities and those with special needs during evacuations.
“On a regular ambulance it can hold 1 to2 patients, but on this ambulance we can do up to 12 patients on the stretcher fashion, or we can do up to 20 patients if we have the stretcher and people in seats,” added Rajyaguru.
Hillsborough County is working to create another AmbuBus, so it can help transport more people during disasters.
You can find out which evacuation zone you are located in on the county’s website.