JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Nassau County Emergency Operations Center recently gave WJXT a tour of the facility and sat down to discuss the upcoming season.

The biggest change this year is the new evacuation maps. Now the National Hurricane Center and local emergency managers will be ordering evacuations based on storm surge and flooding potential rather than the size of the storm or the category of the storm.

County Emergency Management Director Billy Estep urges residents of Nassau County to check these new maps and determine their new evacuation zone. 

Of particular concern for Nassau county is Fernandina and Amelia Island -- with limited points of access, evacuations will be determined early for these areas to ensure every resident can get out. 

The Emergency Operations Center also must consider the sizeable visitor population as well,and make sure they are prepared and in communication with those who may not be familiar with the area and hurricanes.

Another concern of the Nassau County Emergency Operations Center is their special needs registry. Anyone who is medically dependent on electricity in some way, whether its refrigerated medications, dialysis or any need for electricity that is life dependent needs to be registered with the county. The Emergency Operations Center cares for this group carefully, opening a designated shelter early, and checking on those who may be challenged by a power outage.  To register, visit NassauCountyFL.com.

Another great tool the Nassau County Emergency Operations Center uses they would like all residents to register for is the Nassau County Alert Notification System. By doing so, residents will receive pertinent alerts regarding local emergency situations quickly and efficiently.  You will see a few different forecast products as well, including storm surge predictions from the National Hurricane Center.

Director Estep is enthusiastic about have new tools at his disposal to better help the residents of Nassau County through the 2014 hurricane season.