JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – While Tropical Storm Erika continues to move closer to the state of Florida, emergency officials urge residents to "know your zone." There are six different color-coded zones that are not only dependent on the intensity of the storm, but flooding and storm surge.
Steve Woodard, Duval County's chief of emergency preparedness said storm surge causes the most casualties in tropical weather, which is why evacuations are key to survival.
"It's really important to heed the warnings of the meteorologists," Woodard said. "We work closely with the National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center, and when a storm is approaching, it will be really important for people to pay close attention as that threat evolves."
People living in Zone A (indicated in red) would be the first to evacuate. Under the plan released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this zone not only includes the coastal area of the beaches and along the Intracoastal Waterway, but areas in the Northside, Southside and even Westside along inland waterways. These area would evacuate first.
More of the Beaches, part of San Marco and the Sports Complex east of downtown are in Zone B (marked in brown), which would be the second group to evacuate.
Zone C (yellow) expands the evacuation of San Marco, includes Riverside and Avondale, neighborhoods along the Arlington River and Intracoastal West
If things get worse, San Marco, Mandarin and most of the Northside and much of Northwest Jacksonville would be evacuated in Zones D (green).
Throughout downtown, San Marco and the beaches, the city of Jacksonville has placed poles that show the potential water level at that location for different categories of hurricanes.
Authorities said people asked to evacuate should have certain things on hand, like a disaster kit with food, water, tools and supplies. He said everyone who lives in Florida should also have a plan for their family, pets and business.
To see if your home would be affected by flooding, type your address into the interactive map from FloridaDisaster.org.
Or look at county-by-county flooding/evacuation maps:
|Alachua County | Baker County | Clay County | Columbia County | Duval County|
|Flagler County | Nassau County | Putnam County | St. Johns County | Union County|