"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:
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.
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
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
150 Bush Blvd
Sanford, Florida 32773