ORLANDO, Fla. – Hurricanes are dangerous for a variety of reasons but the deadliest threat when it comes to the tropical systems, according to emergency officials, is storm surge, which is water that gets pushed ashore by powerful hurricane winds.
The Sunshine State is extremely vulnerable to life-threatening storm surge because of its coastal and low-lying geography, according to FloridaDisaster.org. For that reason, it’s important to be prepared to evacuate ahead of a storm, especially if you live in one of those high-risk areas.
The best way to know whether you should evacuate ahead of a storm is to know your zone.
To find out if you are in a designated evacuation zone, enter your address in the interactive map below.
Evacuation Zones are designated by letter, with vulnerability increasing from Tropical Storm Zone to Zone F.
Once you’ve determined your zone based on where you live, click here to view evacuation route and zone maps for your county.
According to FloridaDisaster.org, the following counties have designated evacuation zones and residents should use the linked resources when developing their evacuation plans:
The following counties do not have designated evacuation zones, which means county officials may still issue evacuation orders, however, the orders will refer to geographic boundaries or landmarks instead of designated zones:
Evacuation orders are also often issued for those living in low-lying areas, according to FloridaDisaster.org.
While there are no maps to designate those areas, you can use the map below to find out whether you live in a flood zone. Officials with the Florida Division of Emergency Management recommend those who live in flood zones consider themselves in low-lying areas and, therefore, more susceptible to flooding from storm surge in coastal areas and heavy rain.
State officials said Floridians should always check with their local emergency management program regarding evacuation orders during an emergency.
Knowing your evacuation information is only one part of preparing for a possible disaster. If you haven’t yet developed an emergency plan for your family or business, click here to get started.