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Posted July 31, 2017 | 2:59 PM

August: How to Weather the Storm Month

Prepare your property, and report potential danger

Summer is rainy season in Hillsborough County, with August, on average, being the wettest month of the year.

For residents who aren't prepared, that can mean trouble.

Hurricanes and other tropical systems aren't the only culprits. Intense afternoon thunderstorms can cause serious damage. Here are four steps you can take to get your property storm-ready:

  • Remove trees with rotting trunks, and trim limbs and shrubs near your house.
  • Clean rain gutters and drain pipes, ensuring no obstacles block the flow of water.
  • When not in use, move patio furniture and other lightweight, unsecured items indoors.
  • Eliminate or turn over objects that collect rainfall and can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes - things such as bird baths, pet bowls, toys, and bromeliad plants.

Is a drainage ditch in your neighborhood clogged with debris or choked with tall grass? Does a fallen limb on a County right of way pose a threat to people or property? Report potentially hazardous situations.

For other non-life-threatening matters related to storms or storm damage, contact Customer Service & Support. Operators will find someone who can help.

Flooding is the costliest natural disaster affecting Hillsborough County. Both inland and coastal areas are susceptible. Know your neighborhood's potential to flood, protect your valuables, and be safe.

The Tampa Bay area is known as the lightning capital of the nation. If you hear thunder, lightning might be within striking distance. Follow the National Weather Service adage: "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors."

Wind gusts and even tornadoes can accompany summer storms. To stay informed when bad weather threatens, sign up for HCFL Alert.

In an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Photo information: High tides and strong winds flood roads near downtown Tampa during Tropical Storm Debby in early summer 2012. Credit: National Weather Service.