Hurricane Ian Resources and Tips

Posted: September 27, 2022 | Categories: General Info | Homeowner Tips & Info
By Highland Homes

Hurricane Ian is forecast to affect Florida, with homeowners in Tampa Bay and Bradenton-Sarasota expected to see hurricane conditions starting on Wednesday. While the path of the storm could shift, evacuation orders have been issued in some areas near Florida's west coast (more on that below).

While we are hoping for the best, it is best to prepare for the worst. Here are helpful links, resources, and tips to weather the storm.

Our #1 Tip - Be Prepared, Not Panicked!

Prepare Your Home

  • Protect your windows
  • Trim trees and shrubs
    • If this is not already done and you do not have some way to dispose of the trimmings, skip this step - Cut tree limbs could become projectiles during the storm
  • Remove or secure outdoor items such as yard decorations, patio furniture, grills, and garbage cans
  • Store important documents in waterproof containers
  • Turn the fridge and freezer to the coldest setting
  • Ensure your generator has fuel and is ready for use
  • Back up personal computers and devices in case of loss
    • Backing up files to the cloud (such as Dropbox or Google Drive) allows you to store files without an external hard drive
  • Create a home inventory
    • Take a video of each room in your home as well as valuables - All you need is your cell phone!
    • Walk slowly through each room narrating an inventory.
    • Upload it to the cloud so it’s available if you need it.

Create a Hurricane Kit

For a basic kit checklist and additional resources, visit our page on Creating Your Florida Hurricane Checklist.

Hurricane “Hacks"

Here are some alternative solutions to bottled water and finding the supplies you need:

  • Bathroom facilities
    • Fill your bathtubs with water and use a small bucket of water to flush toilets and wash hands
      • Note - Be careful to keep the bathroom door secure if you have pets or young children
  • Drinking water
    • As an alternative to buying bottled water, fill up clean, sealable containers with tap water - Buckets, reusable water bottles, thermoses, etc.
    • Many local breweries are offering fresh, clean water to residents now, as well as filling their tanks with drinking water should the community need it after the storm. Here are a few we have seen post about this on social media:
  • Batteries - Check “outside of the box" stores such as Dollar Tree, Best Buy, Party City, etc.
  • Ice - Fill gallon freezer bags with ice and have them stored in the freezer

Fill and Use Sandbags

Placing sandbags at your doorways can help to prevent minor flooding from entering your home by creating a floodwall. provides some helpful info on why and how to use sandbags.

Here's where you can fill sandbags in Tampa Bay and Central Florida.

Evacuation Planning

Know Your Zone and Follow Evacuation Orders

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered ahead of Hurricane Ian, and (currently) voluntary evacuations are also in place.

Officials recommend people who live in low-lying or flood-prone areas, live in mobile homes near the storm impact area, or are traveling with young children, elderly, or persons with special needs should leave before a general evacuation is recommended.

Evacuation Zones, Routes, Notices, and Shelter Information

Visit your County's website (linked below),, or call the Florida Emergency Information Line at 1-800-342-3557 for up-to-date information.

Before You Hit the Road

  • Have a destination
  • Be familiar with evacuation and travel routes
  • Take your emergency supply kit - make sure to include supplies for pets!
  • Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car

Visit the website for additional evacuation planning tips.

Pet Resources

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay offers a comprehensive Animal Disaster Kit, pet-friendly shelter information, and additional resources for disaster preparedness. 

If Evacuating

No matter what happens, do not leave your pet(s) alone if you evacuate!

  • Your County websites should indicate pet-friendly shelters
    • Make sure to review requirements and bring the proper documentation and supplies
      • Proof of vaccinations, registration tags, a carrier, food, water, medications, etc.
  • Find a pet-friendly hotel or boarding kennel
  • Have friends or family shelter your pet

Pet Preparedness

  • Have a supply kit for each animal
  • Be sure all pets are wearing a collar with ID and vaccination tags in case they get out
  • Pet water - Fill bowls and freeze; defrost for your pet as needed
  • Doggy tip from Florida Boxer Rescue - Place pieces of sod in a kiddie pool and put it in your garage so pup has a safe place to potty during the storm
    • Never let your dog out in the yard where he/she could get spooked or escape

Additional Info

For more information on what to do, where to go, and how to plan for the hurricane season, visit:

As a Tampa home builder, we are also preparing for the safety of our staff members, homes, and communities. As such, our offices will be closed or have limited hours in the coming days. Check the header bar on and individual community pages for the most up-to-date information.

Tags: Hurricane preparedness