Public Emergency Evacuations
Don't Wait. Evacuate!
Although a tropical cyclone is the most likely reason for an evacuation of coastal counties in Florida, a release of Hazardous Material or approaching Wildfire might also trigger an evacuation. The decision to issue an evacuation order is not taken lightly, nor is the disruption it creates for the entire community; evacuations are strictly to protect the lives, health, and safety of the public. When notice to evacuate is given: gather your family, pets, and supplies; secure your home; and Go! Although it might still look beautiful outdoors, the Emergency Management Director and Nassau's Executive Policy Group will start an evacuation so that everyone has time to get away safely. Remember that Amelia is a barrier island. If a tropical cyclone impact is imminent, residents, visitors, businesses, police, fire fighters, and even hospital patients will all have to cross the bridge to move inland before the destructive high winds, flooding rains, and surge arrive. Once sustained winds reach 39 mph, bridges will be closed for safety, so evacuation of the island must already be complete.
Dangerous Flooding is created by Storm Tides
The #1 Killer in tropical cyclone events is flooding. Surge is the extra storm water pushed onto land by tropical cyclone winds. Normal Tide + Surge = Storm Tide (sometimes called Storm Surge)
Thousands of computer simulations depicting Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH Models) were analyzed to determine the areas of Nassau County most likely to be inundated during a tropical cyclone. Depending on the scenario (i.e. Storm Category, Forward Speed, Direction, Ground Saturation), water depths all over the county could reach from a few inches to over 25 feet; surge can cause flooding well into our river basins, not just at the coast. These data were combined with landscape features, population density, and road access to generate our public safety Evacuation Zones.
Know Your Zone!
Everyone in an Evacuation Zone should designate a safe alternate location well before it's needed; plan what you will take and know how long it will take you to get there. For help planning, read and heed our Citizen's Disaster Preparedness Guide.
The map below depicts our different zones by color. You'll notice there is no "B" zone on the map; Zones A and B have been combined because of the minuscule difference in inundation potential and because the B Zones were often surrounded by land designated Zone A. Zone F is land with known flooding issues, even without an associated tropical storm.
If a tropical cyclone approaches, residents in mobile homes and those who are electricity-dependent or have special medical needs should plan to evacuate to a safe place out of the area, even if not in a designated Evacuation Zone. High winds and tornadoes associated with tropical cyclones are much more likely to damage mobile homes; power and certain medical services may be unavailable for days or weeks after impact.
To see exactly where your address appears with the Evacuation Zones overlay on the Property Appraiser's detailed Nassau County Map, go to http://maps2.roktech.net/NassauTaxMap/#, click on "Map Layers" at the top of the page, check the Public Safety box and the Evacuation Zones box in the menu that pops up, then use the "Search By" feature to select "Address" and enter your street address.