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Stay connected during Hurricane Idalia

Don’t miss a local update when a major storm hits. Bookmark these resources to stay informed during Hurricane Idalia.

Palm trees blowing in hard wind in the foreground, with a dark cloudy sky and the Summit Building in downtown Lakeland in the background.

Stay safe and stay connected.

Photo by LALtoday

Table of Contents

Hurricane Idalia is predicted to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday, Aug. 30. Forecasters expect it to become a Category 3 hurricane, and Polk County has been placed under a state of emergency. Stay up to date with these local, statewide, and national resources.

Storm tracking

Track the storm’s progress through the National Hurricane Center, which provides top news each day, hurricane position updates, and satellite imagery. USA Today also has a storm tracker with an interactive map.

Download the FEMA app to get real-time weather alerts, send notifications to friends + family, and locate emergency shelters.

Wondering what it all means? Use our guide to spaghetti models and hurricane categories.


Lakeland may not be in the direct path of the storm, but a Category 3 hurricane can bring wind speeds of up to 129 mph. That could mean debris, damage, and downed power lines.

Check Lakeland Electric’s power outage map and report outages or downed lines by calling the automated number at (863) 834-4248. Hurricanes can make tap water unsafe to drink, so keep an eye on the City of Lakeland’s current boil water notices.


Polk County Public Schools and offices will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 30-Thursday, Aug. 31. Some schools will be used as shelters. Visit PCPS’ storm information site or follow the district’s social media accounts for the most recent updates on closures and reopenings.

Parents can get direct communication from their child’s school by signing up for SchoolMessenger. Opt in for automated messages about future emergency situations.