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Know your zone: Florida evacuation zones, what they mean, and when to leave

Published on: 09/28/2022


The main way people die when a hurricane hits Florida is storm surge, according to the state's Know Your Zone website

Storm surge is a dome of water pushed onto land by powerful hurricane winds. The force of the water can move buildings and cause more damage than hurricane winds, on their own. 


As evacuations are ordered ahead of Hurricane Ian, it's important for residents across Florida to know if they are in a storm surge evacuation zone, so they can be prepared to leave when officials give the orders. 

Meteorologist say "run from water, hide from wind." Storm surge is the reason for this saying.

County by county: Hurricane Ian emergency information

Low-lying areas vs storm surge

Storm surge evacuation zones are different from low-lying areas. Those are areas prone to flooding due to rainfall and saturated grounds. Evacuation information for low-lying areas is typically given as a recommendation. 

Flood zones are similarly named to storm surge evacuation zones. Don't confuse "Flood Zone A" with "Evacuation Zone A."

See if your home is in a so-called low-lying area flood zone on the FEMA website:

Storm surge evacuation zones

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