Hurricane Preparation

and Safety Tips

City of Fort Myers, FL

City of Fort Myers storm center alert graphic

City of Fort Myers Hurricane Center

Welcome to the information site for preparation efforts related to hurricanes. This is an official page for the City of Fort Myers and is a resource for all things concerning storms that affect our community.

City of Fort Myers Storm Preparation 2020

Preparations for the rainy season occur throughout the year, as the city devotes more than $4 million to maintaining public rights-of-way and stormwater management programs in coordination with the South Florida Water Management District, Lee County and the Florida Department of Natural Resources. The city doubled its alternative power sources since Hurricane Irma.


City crews routinely check outfalls to ensure proper water handling. All major outfalls have been checked and are functioning as normal. FDOT has finished dredging and cleaning Winkler Canal to ensure free flow of water.


Homeowner associations and privately maintained stormwater systems are urged to check and clean outfalls. To prevent potential flooding during the rainy season and in anticipation of storms, residents and businesses can assist by clearing trash and horticultural debris away from street drains that may become clogged.


The city's Central and South Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facilities have undergone a $45M refurbishment of equipment, including 40 miles of underground wiring, installation of new, state-of-the-art electrical switchgear and four new industrial generators (two at each plant, consisting of one primary and one backup generator, with corresponding 12,000 gallon fuel tanks at each plant) contributing to improved reliability and handling capacity at both plants. Aeration ditches were cleaned at both plants to restore the ditches to the original holding and processing capacity. All of these improvements help the city manage infiltration and inflow resulting from high intensity and extended duration storms.


Lee Prepares

LeePrepares is a tool assists residents with preparing for and recovering from disasters that affect the community.

Download the LeePrepares app for storm preparedness. This tool assists residents with preparing for and recovering from all types of disasters that affect the community. In addition, please visit the City of Fort Myers website for more information on local emergency resources.


Alert Lee

Alert Lee is Lee County's emergency notification system.

Sign up for AlertLee emergency notifications. This tool is an emergency mass notification system. In addition, please visit the City of Fort Myers website for more information on local emergency resources.


Florida Department of Transportation Evacuation Zones

Evacuation zones broken down by address.

Important Emergency Numbers

Emergencies dial - 911


American Red Cross (local chapter) - 239-278-3401

City of Fort Myers - City Hall - 239-321-7000

Downed/sparking lines - 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243), FPL. Never touch downed or sparking lines.

Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA - 1-800-621-3362 (telephone) 1-800-462-7585 (TTY)

Florida Division of Emergency Management - 1-850-413-9969

Fort Myers Fire Department, non-emergency - 239-321-7311

Fort Myers Police Department, non-emergency - 239-321-7700

Gas Leaks/Emergencies - (877) 832-6747, Teco Gas. You cannot report gas leaks or emergencies online.

Lee County Emergency Management - 239-533-0622

Lee County Special Needs Program - 239-533-0640

Lee County Storm Hotline - 211

Lee County Domestic Animal Services - 239-533-7387

Public Works Utilities After Hours Emergency - 239-321-8100

Report an Outage - https://www.fpl.com/my-account/web-outage.html or 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243)

Salvation Army - 239-278-1551

Traffic Conditions in Florida - 511

United Way of Lee County - 239-433-2000 or 211

Hurricane Center


To Inquire About General Hurricane Recovery and Preparation Information


Call or leave a message at Lee County Emergency Management, (239)-533-0622 or dial 211 to reach the Lee County Storm Hotline.


Utilities/Electricity


Downed/sparking lines - 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243), FPL. Never touch downed or sparking lines.


Gas Leaks/Emergencies - (877) 832-6747, Teco Gas. You cannot report gas leaks or emergencies online.


Report an Outage - https://www.fpl.com/my-account/web-outage.html or 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243)


Public Works Utilities After Hours Emergency - 239-321-8100



Hurricane Preparedness Information

What may we expect in Fort Myers

Hurricane - A Tropical storm becomes a Hurricane when sustained winds reach 74 Mph or greater. Even a Tropical storm with winds less then 74 Mph can cause damage similar to a Category 1 Hurricane. Planning and preparation should always take place for the next higher category of storm. This action is taken because hurricanes can and have strengthened just prior to landfall.


Important Points


Storms do not often act in a completely predictable manner. A storm may increase in forward speed, greatly reducing preparation time. Also, storms can increase in intensity rapidly, occasionally this may occur just prior to making landfall. Typically, Emergency Management will base decisions on the next higher category of storm.


Fort Myers does not have to sustain a direct hit from a hurricane to cause extensive damage and disruption of services. A Tropical Storm with sustained winds of 50 mph or a hurricane making landfall 75-100 miles south or 50-75 miles to the north can have serious consequences.


Hurricanes can be dangerous killers. Learning the hurricane warning messages and planning ahead can reduce the chances of injury or major property damage.


Be prepared to be self sufficient for at least three days (water, food, and other supplies). It may take at least that long for outside emergency workers to provide aid to you after a major hurricane. Power may be interrupted for weeks.


Hurricane Hazard Potential


The four main hazards associated with Hurricanes are storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and extreme amounts of rainfall.


Hurricane Damage Potential Scale:


The National Weather Service uses the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale which is a 1-5 categorization based on the hurricane's intensity at the indicated time.



Storm Surge zones in Lee county

Visit this page to see storm surge zones in Lee County.

Tide Times and Chart

Visit this page to see tide times and levels for Fort Myers.

The CDC's guidelines on how to stay safe during COVID-19 and a hurricane.

Hurricane Preparedness in COVID-19 Times

For guidance on preparing and evacuating for hurricanes in the midst of COVID-19, review these CDC guidelines or click the image. You can help protect yourself and your loved ones by taking precautionary steps before the storms hit.


Make sure you include personal protection equipment and sanitary/cleaning supplies in your hurricane preparedness or evacuation kit.


When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations (staying at least 6 feet from others) and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.


Ahead of time, find out if your local public shelter is open, in case you need to evacuate your home. Remember that your shelter location may be different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


If asked to shelter in place during a storm, follow preventive actions while in close quarters; Including covering coughs and sneezes, washing your hands often, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Consider taking extra precautions for people that are at higher risk, such as immunocompromised family members or elderly family members that might be sheltering with you.

Things to Remember

Supplies and preparations


  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Emergency food and water
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Non -electric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Make arrangements for pets. Pets are not allowed in emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Contact the Charleston Animal Shelter for more information.
  • Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a hurricane.
  • Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water.
  • Protect your windows.
  • Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up plywood panels. Use 5/8 inch exterior-grade plywood, marine plywood is best, cut to fit each window or door, include a 4 inch overlap on each side. Lag bolts should penetrate the wall and frame surrounding at least 1 ¾ - 2 ½ inches. Remember to mark which board fits which window. Pre-drill holes every 12 inches for screws and place 4 holes in the center for pressure equalization. Do this long before the storm.
  • Trim back dead or weak branches from trees.
  • Pick-up, store indoors, or secure any item in the yard that can become an airborne missile.
  • Check into flood insurance. You can find out about the National Flood Insurance Program through your local insurance agent or emergency management office. There is normally a 30-day waiting period before a new policy becomes effective. Homeowner polices do not cover damage from flooding that accompanies a hurricane.
  • Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated from one another during a disaster (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), have a plan for getting back together. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address, and phone number of the contact person.
  • HURRICANE WATCHES AND WARNINGS

WHEN A HURRICANE WATCH IS ISSUED


Listen to radio or television for hurricane progress reports. Have a battery–operated radio or television as a backup when the power goes off.


  • Check emergency supplies.
  • Fuel car.
  • Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
  • Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows. Remove outside antennas.
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly.
  • Store drinking water in clean bathtubs, washing machine, jugs, bottles, and cooking pots.
  • Review evacuation plan.
  • Moor boat securely or move it to a designated safe place. Use rope or chain to secure boat to trailer. Use tiedowns to anchor trailer to the ground or house.

DURING A HURRICANE WARNING


Listen constantly to LOCAL radio or television for official instructions. Remember, cable television stations may not have information about the storm. Have a battery-operated radio or television with spare batteries.


If in a mobile home or manufactured home, check tie downs and evacuate immediately. Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home. If evacuating, take important papers with you.


For more information: View the City of Fort Myers Hurricane Survival Guide.



National Hurricane Center Live Tracks - NOAA

Source: National Hurricane Center. Visit site here.

Live Radar, Tracking Tropical Storm Eta

Source: 10 Tampa Bay. Visit site here.

Report an Outage FPL

To report a downed or sparking lines call 1-800-4-OUTAGE (1-800-468-8243). Or visit the FPL outage website here.

National Hurricane Center


City of Fort Myers


FL Division of Emergency Management