Hurricane Season FAQs
How can I make sure I get important Public Information and Public Safety announcements?
- Tune your NOAA Weather Radio to Frequency 162.550
- Monitor local news media:
Local radio stations: 89.9 FM, 104.5 FM, and 690 AM
Local television stations: Over the air Channels 4, 12, 30, 47
- Website www.NassauFL-EM.com
- Follow NassauEM on Facebook, Twitter, and NextDoor social media platforms
- Call the NCEM Citizen’s Information Call Center (CICC) at: 904-548-0900
How do I “Opt-in” for Citizen Alerts (a.k.a. the Everbridge Mass Notification System)?
1. Navigate to www.NassauFL-EM.com and choose the “Citizen Alerts” option in the menu
on the left side of the page.
2. Click the “Click Here to Register or Login” link
3. Click the “Sign Up” link at the bottom of the page
click the blue “Create Your Account” bar.
You have the option to choose which weather and community alerts you want to receive,
and you can log back into your account and make changes anytime.
If you have any questions or difficulty getting registered, call the CICC at 548-0900 for
How do I make a disaster plan for my family or business?
The Florida Division of Emergency Management has an on-line planning tool that allows
individuals to build customized disaster plans in just a few minutes. Go to
https://floridadisaster.org/family-plan/ to create a personal disaster plan today. Businesses
are encouraged to utilize https://floridadisaster.biz/ both pre- and post-disaster.
How do I find the current storm forecast?
Storm forecasts are posted online at www.NHC.NOAA.gov and on our social media (Facebook
and NextDoor at NassauEM, Twitter @NassauEM).
What actions are being taken? What’s going to happen?
Emergency Management staff are participating in State and Regional conference calls with
government officials and weather experts to evaluate local conditions and computer models to
make public safety decisions. If protective actions are needed, instructions will be announced
through multiple media outlets: radio, television, social media, and the AlertNassau Citizen
Alerts mass notification system
Are you going to order an evacuation for the Tropical Storm/Hurricane?
If an evacuation is necessary, Nassau EM will notify the public through multiple media outlets.
Evacuations for hurricanes will be ordered in plenty of time to complete the operations before
the onset of Tropical Storm-force winds (>39 mph). You do not have to wait for an evacuation
order to leave the area; avoid traffic and stress by leaving early if you are able.
How do I find out my Evacuation Zone?
Evacuation Zones are developed using the latest ground elevation measurements, population,
development, transportation, drainage, historical flooding, and geology data. For a county map,
go to www.NassauFL-EM.com and click “Evacuation Zones” in the menu on the left side of the
To determine your Evacuation Zone, use the link at the bottom of the Nassau EM Evacuation
Zones webpage to get to the Property Appraiser’s mapping tool found at
Once on their website, click the “Map Layers” option at the top of the screen, choose the
“Public Safety and Evacuation Zones” layers check-box on the left side of the screen, and enter
your address in the property search box.
NOTE: Depending on the hazard, people living in mobile homes or with special medical needs
(e.g. oxygen or dialysis dependent) should consider evacuating even if not in an evacuation
zone. Mobile homes may not withstand high winds, and even high ground can become isolated
from critical services if flooding is wide-spread.
What if I can’t get that site to work?
Navigate to the State’s GIS Mapping site at www.FloridaDisaster.org/gator and type your
address into the small box in the upper right corner of the page, then hit Enter. Once the map
zooms in to your address, click the “Legend” icon in the toolbar at the top (second icon from the
right, it looks like a little bullet-list) to see the Zone that corresponds to each map color.
What if I still can’t find my zone? Can you tell me my Evacuation Zone?
IF you have an accurate 9-1-1 street address, call the CICC 548-0900 and a call-taker will assist
What am I supposed to do if an evacuation of my zone is ordered?
Follow Emergency Management’s official instructions.
- Gather your family members, pets, and personal supplies (medications, clothes, food,
pet care needs, important documents, cellphone charger, favorite pillow, etc.),
- Notify your loved ones, secure your home (e.g. turn off propane tanks, move things off
the floor, lock the doors), and go!
- Do not try to return to the area until Emergency Management says it is safe to do so.
Where am I supposed to go in an evacuation?
Your best bet is to go to a loved one’s home, or even a hotel, out of the projected area of
impact. If you have nowhere else to go during an evacuation, you can find refuge in a public
shelter. See www.NassauFL-EM.com for emergency shelter locations.
General population shelters, typically hurricane wind-rated school buildings, provide
protection from disaster conditions. You must bring your personal supplies (e.g. pillow,
sleeping bag, hygiene items, special foods, medications, etc.) with you to the shelter.
There might not be access to electrical power, but it will be safe. Anyone can take
refuge in a general population shelter, but no pets are allowed. (Service animals are not
“pets” – they may remain with their humans at all times, even in a general population
If you have a pet, make sure you go to a pet-friendly shelter and bring all of your petcare
supplies, including a crate/care, bedding, bowls, and food, as well as proof of rabies vaccination with you.
In Nassau County the only pet-friendly general population shelters are Callahan Middle School and Yulee
Elementary School. Only dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, and birds are allowed – no reptiles.
To reduce allergy problems, animals are housed separately from the human shelter clients; owners are
still responsible for their pet’s care, feeding, and toileting.
If you are interested in volunteering in a pet friendly shelter, register with Animal Care Services at
If you have special medical needs, pre-registration for the Special Needs Shelter is
required annually. Registration is completed online. In addition to the supplies listed
above, plan to bring necessary health-care supplies and a caregiver with you. Special
Needs Shelters are pet-friendly.
How do I register for the Special Needs Shelter (SpNS)? How do I find out if I’m on the
Registration takes place via the statewide registry at https://snr.floridadisaster.org
For answers to other questions or help getting registered call the CICC at 548-0900.
What do I take with me to the Shelter?
Take anything you would take with you if you were camping in the woods (except the tent and
cooking tools): pillow, sleeping bag, medications, hygiene supplies, favorite foods, comfort
items like books or toys, modest sleepwear, and a change of clothes. Think of an emergency
shelter as "a Life Boat, not the Love Boat"!
If you have pets bring proof of vaccinations, a secure crate, food and bowls, a leash, and
hygiene supplies (baggies or a litter box) – owners will be responsible for care of their pets in
pet-friendly emergency shelters (note that genuine Service Animals are not considered “pets”).
How can I get to a shelter if I don’t drive or have a vehicle?
Pick-up locations (bus stops) for those without transportation to emergency shelters will be
announced via traditional (i.e. radio, television, newspaper) and social (e.g., Facebook, Twitter)
media when an evacuation order is issued. The CICC can also provide shelter pick-up schedule
information to callers.
How will I know which shelters are open?
Not all shelters will be activated for every emergency; availability of staff may dictate the
number of shelters opened. Shelters on the west side of the county are likely to be opened
first; shelters closer to the east are considered “shelters of last resort” or may be used for
responders. Check the website, Facebook, Twitter, and NextDoor or call the CICC for specific
How can I find out if something I heard is true, or if it’s just a rumor?
Speculation and rumors are common in emergency situations. Call the CICC at 548-0900 with
specific questions and a call-taker will assist you with the correct information. Monitor official
news broadcasts and information posted official NCEM pages.
My property floods. Where can I get sandbags to protect my home?
First move electronics, documents, and other valuables that could be damaged to an upper
story or at least up off of the floor.
Public Works does not routinely provide free sandbags, but this can change depending on the
incident. Contact the Road & Bridge division toll-free at 877-588-6860
Sandbags are available for sale through many home improvement stores (e.g. Lowe’s, The
Home Depot) as well as online vendors. Sandbags are sold empty – the buyer is responsible for
filling them with sand (it is not legal to collect sand from the beach!)
When will the Bridges close?
The Florida Department of Transportation closes bridges when sustained winds (averaged over
one minute) are >39 mph (i.e. Tropical-Storm-Force). Safety is our primary concern. Sheriff’s
deputies will be stationed at the bridges with wind speed monitors when high winds become a