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City of Tampa awarded $500K grant for resiliency planning and disaster readiness

The City of Tampa will receive a $500,000 grant from Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity to help shape a stronger and more resilient future for Tampa.

The grant is part of HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Mitigation Program to help Florida cities mitigate the effects of future natural disasters.

“This grant will help us build a stronger Tampa from the ground up. From ensuring new developments are built with resiliency in mind, to improving access to key resources like food, shelter, power and other lifelines for all residents, supporting a seamless evacuation plan for each neighborhood, investing in our infrastructure and more. These studies will ensure that as we grow, we continue growing in a strategic way, tackling vulnerabilities head-on and taking action to secure a more resilient future for our entire city,” says Mayor Jane Castor.

The City of Tampa plans to use the grant funds to conduct a study and analysis of Hurricane Evacuation Zones A and B to support resiliency planning and disaster readiness in these areas. Today, approximately 35% percent of the City’s population resides in the Hurricane A and B Evacuation Zones. These zones are especially vulnerable to flooding, sea-level rise, and other coastal threats.

The project will have 3 main scopes:

  • This first is to evaluate state, local, and regional land-use policies and development regulations (including hurricane evacuation, shelter requirements, building regulations, rebuilding practices and zoning requirements), and recommend changes (if needed) to reduce the risks posed by tropical storms and severe weather.
  • The study will also outline strategies to strengthen community lifelines during a disaster, including access to food, water, shelter, medical care, power and fuel, safety and security, communications, transportation, and more. This will be accomplished by bringing together key stakeholders like the Tampa Port Authority, Tampa General Hospital, University of Tampa, MacDill AFB, Tampa Downtown Partnership, Westshore Alliance, the Greater Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce and others to collectively develop an integrated plan for improving resiliency in the face of tropical storm and other climate change events.
  • Lastly, the study will target two geographical areas (Palmetto Beach and South of Gandy) for community-level planning, focusing on identifying specific projects that support the economic and social development of each community. The lessons learned from these neighborhoods will be integrated into plans for other areas of the city.

The project will also evaluate the extent to which vulnerable and low-income communities are at risk during storm and flooding events, regardless of their location. Oftentimes these communities are not able to invest in resiliency efforts such as storm-proofing or hardening their homes and lack access to affordable alternative energy. In severe storm events, these populations may not have access to groceries, medicines and may experience loss of employment. The study will evaluate these vulnerabilities in order to plan strategic resiliency investments in these communities.

This grant will support the City of Tampa’s commitment to establishing Sustainability & Resilience as one of Mayor Jane Castor’s top priorities for the Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow vision plan.

Learn more about Sustainability & Resiliency initiatives at