General Information

 


EVACUATION


"To evacuate, or not to evacuate. That is the question!"

You should evacuate when told to do so by the Seminole County Office of Emergency Management. But, there are times we should stay in place. Here is why:
 
EvacuationDuring Hurricane Floyd in late 1999, it was determined that about 1.4 million people were at risk and they should evacuate. The evacuation order went out through the media to the public. However, the public over-responded. About 2 million people evacuated. This "shadow" evacuation by more than a half of a million put all the evacuees at risk.
 
Roads became bogged down. Families, often with young children and elderly relatives, were "grid-locked" on the interstate and on major ground surface roads. These people would have been in jeopardy had Hurricane Floyd changed course and moved inland between the Cocoa Beach area and Jacksonville.

Evacuation orders are usually given for specific evacuation zones. For instance, a coastal evacuation may be ordered for those living on barrier islands. If this were the case, it would mean that those people who lived on the mainland were considered safe and did not have to evacuate.
 
In issuing the order, the authorities plan for an adequate road system and sufficient law enforcement officers to evacuate the residents in a specific amount of time. If large numbers of residents outside of the evacuation zone decide to join the exodus, the plans could become overwhelmed. Roads could become choked and law enforcement officers would be unable to manage the excess traffic. That is exactly what happened during Hurricane Floyd.
 
Let’s carry the above example a step further. The order might also include those persons who live inland but within a flood area as identified on a Flood Information Rate Map (FIRM). FIRMs pre-identified flood prone areas. This could include low-lying areas adjacent to rivers and lakes. The public can view them in Planning & Development's Building Division, located in the first floor of the County Services Building on First Street in Sanford.

The key to evacuating is knowing if you live in an area that has been identified. Then when the evacuation order is given, listen closely to see if the area ordered to evacuate includes you!



 

Emergency Management     150 Bush Blvd    Sanford, Florida 32773    (407) 665-5102