Do you know if your home is in a flood zone? With activity heating up in the Tropics, that’s critically important information to know in case a storm threatens the Central Florida coast and you need to make a decision about whether or not to evacuate. Fortunately, with just a few clicks, an interactive, searchable evacuation zone map and other useful information to help make your family storm ready is at your fingertips. Visit www.Volusia.org/knowyourzone to determine your zone.
With the hurricane season getting more active, now is the perfect time for Volusia County residents to review the map and find out whether they would be affected if an evacuation order is issued. Because depending on the path and intensity of a tropical system, the impacts of high winds and the storm surge could be felt well west of the coastal areas. And that’s why planning in advance – knowing whether you would leave, where you would go and how you would get there – is extremely important for residents, according to Volusia County Emergency Management Director Helene Wetherington. After all, if a hurricane was bearing down on the area, decisions about whether and where to evacuate could literally be a matter of life and death.
“You don’t want to be making these critical decisions affecting the safety of you and your family when a storm is threatening our area,” said Wetherington. “The time to start thinking about these things is now. Be prepared and have a plan. And a big part of that is knowing whether you live in an area that could be subject to an evacuation order should the need arise.”
If Volusia County were in the path of a storm, the beachside barrier island most likely would be the first area to be affected by any evacuation orders. But low-lying and flood-prone areas also could come under an evacuation order. Additionally, mobile homes, manufactured homes and recreational vehicles also would likely be impacted by an evacuation order due to these types of structures being extremely vulnerable to hurricane winds. Residents who evacuate their homes are encouraged to seek shelter in a hotel or with family or friends away from the impact zone and consider public shelters a last option.
Knowing what zone you reside in is imperative, as evacuation orders will reference zones. Check your zone at www.Volusia.org/knowyourzone and plan in advance where you will go if an evacuation order is issued that affects your residence.
The Volusia County Emergency Management website provides a great deal of resources to help residents prepare for the storm season, including information on safeguarding homes and creating a family disaster plan, a checklist of items to include in a disaster supply kit, a video guide to disaster preparedness and maps showing evacuation areas and local evacuation transportation routes. The link to the website is as follows:
Much of the same information, and more, is available by downloading the Volusia County Emergency Management phone app at volusia.org/emergency-app.
“These are great tools that will be invaluable during a major storm or other type of emergency event,” said Wetherington. “We want the public to be informed and we want them to be ready. That’s the best way to stay safe.”
— Volusia County Activity Project Manager/Community Information Gary Davidson