Hillsborough County is reminding residents of several safety precautions in the wake of Hurricane Ian, including debris cleanup, generator advisories and mosquito prevention.
HART Provides On-Demand Service for Residents
The Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) will provide free, on-demand service for residents from HART transit or transfer centers to destinations within the HART service area until 11:00 p.m. today, September 29. HART Customer Service (813) 254-4278. HART will resume regular service tomorrow, September 30. Please apply for more information GoHart.org.
- Before you remove felled trees and pick up yard debris, remember this:
- Check the yard for electrical hazards. Water, tools, tree branches, etc. that may come into contact with a live power line. do not interact with any material such as
- Stay away from downed utility lines, telephone or cable lines, and fence wires. Be careful of wires hanging from trees. Assume all power lines are energized and do not touch.
- Watch out for broken limbs hanging or caught on other branches above that may fall. Broken or hanging branches, attached vines or bent trees are dangerous and should be approached with caution.
If you are unsure of the condition of a tree on your property, consult a certified arborist or city forester. If a damaged tree is on a road in unincorporated Hillsborough County, report it HCFLGov.net/AtYourService or call 833-HC STORM (833-427-8676).
Residents who lost power during Hurricane Ian can use a portable generator. Hillsborough County officials want to remind residents of important safety information to ensure proper generator use.
Residents are reminded NOT to do the following as it can be very dangerous or fatal:
- Do not leave a running generator inside your house or garage. Keep at least 15 feet away from any enclosed structure. Odorless carbon monoxide exhaust fumes are deadly.
- Do not store fuel near potentially flammable appliances in your home or garage, such as a stove or water heater.
- Do not plug the generator directly into your home’s electrical box. This can create a fire hazard and energize field power lines that utility workers assume are not “live.”
- Do not operate the generator in rainy or damp conditions. If the electrical panel gets wet, it may cause electric shock or damage the machine.
- Do not refuel the generator while it is running. Fuel spilled into a hot engine may cause an explosion or fire.
Drain the water regularly to prevent mosquito breeding
Hurricane Ian’s wind-blown and water-driven debris is scattered across Hillsborough County, and floodwaters mean additional breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Any trash or other object that holds water—from a Styrofoam cup to a torn plastic tarp—can allow mosquitoes to breed by the thousands. It is important to dispose of, cover, or transport these items to drain this water and prevent the spread of mosquitoes.
The easiest way to prevent mosquito bites is to stop them from breeding in the first place. Mosquito larvae need water to grow, so the most effective way to prevent them from reproducing is to deprive them of water. Follow these tips:
- Protect yourself by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and insect repellent when cleaning your yard.
- Collect and drain water from overturned trash cans and flower pots, as well as pool covers, coolers, toys, buckets, watering cans, kiddie pools, and any other containers that collect rainwater.
- Clear storm drains and downspouts, especially those clogged with storm debris.
- Throw away old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that can collect water.
- Check and correct chlorination levels in pools that received more rainwater during Hurricane Ian.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls.
For more information on Hillsborough County Mosquito Control Services and tips on how to prevent or reduce mosquitoes, visit HCFLGov.net/Mosquitoes.
Connect. Stay informed.
For more information on Hillsborough County’s response to Hurricane Ian, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and register for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor for updates.
Residents without digital access are encouraged to call the County’s storm information line at 833-HC STORM or 833-427-8676 for information about Hurricane Ian. HCFLGov.net/StaySafe.