Let me start by asking you a question; when it comes to hurricanes, are you more concerned about storm surge or wind? According to the Hurricane Center, 84% of people surveyed think they need to evacuate based on strength (wind speed) of a hurricane. FACT – Storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property regardless of wind speed. 85% of hurricane deaths occur between the oceans influence and rainfall flooding. Only 5% of the deaths are attributed to wind and the other 10% is attributed to tornadoes and miscellaneous factors.

As the saying goes, we run from the water and hide from the wind. What that means is if you live in a storm surge prone area you must have an evacuation plan. However, plan on staying put if you don’t live in an evacuation area. Many people think the second a hurricane warning is issued that they need to get out of town and head to Orlando. This is a mistake. Think of the thousands of cars suddenly hitting the road to get out of Dodge. All it takes is one accident and a massive bottle neck can occur jamming up traffic for hours. The road is the last place you want to be once a hurricane comes on shore. Plus, Orlando is not a safe haven. In 2004, Hurricanes Charley, Jeanne and Francis all passed over Orlando causing damage and widespread power outages.

According to Jamie Rhome, Storm Surge Team Leader at the Hurricane Center, we have new models and data that will allow the NHC to produce a graphic called “The Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map”. This new graphic will be generated by the Hurricane Center and it will take into consideration expected landfall, height of your community above sea level, storm strength, tides and expected surge. You’ll be able to look at the map, see where you live and note if storm surge flooding will affect you.

When Hurricane Andrew came on shore on August 24, 1992, the Burger King Headquarters in Biscayne Bay recorded a 17 foot storm surge. That means the ocean was raised 17 feet above normal levels. Very few people died because of the Category 5 winds inland. Very few could have survived the pounding oceans influence.

To look at your maps and zone click here

This site will allow you to search your zones county by county. Let’s be safe and know what to do before we have to do it.