Sarasota County staff asks residents to ‘Know Your Zone’ prior to start of hurricane season

State’s Division of Emergency Management recently updated its storm surges model, county’s emergency management chief points out

An interactive map is available on the county’s website. Image from

Residents and visitors are encouraged to “know your zone” by checking the updated 2017 evacuation zone map available online in preparation for the 2017 hurricane season, Sarasota County has announced.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management recently provided Sarasota County with an updated Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model from the National Hurricane Center, a news release explains. “Sarasota County Emergency Management, in coordination with its municipal partners, reviewed the new SLOSH model and created the new evacuation zones for the 2017 evacuation zone map,” the release adds.

“It is extremely important for all residents and business owners to understand their evacuation level and the vulnerability of their home or business to storm surge,” said Sarasota County Emergency Management Chief Ed McCrane in the release. “Even if residents checked their zone last year, they are advised to check it again due to this 2017 update,” he added in the release.

“Tropical storms and hurricanes produce strong winds that push seawater ashore, creating deadly storm surge,” the release points out. “Storm surge inundation describes the height of water above ground level. In Sarasota County, storm surge inundation is communicated through ranges of heights known as hurricane evacuation zones,” the release notes.

Hurricane evacuation zones are classified using letters A through E, with areas not within a hurricane evacuation level being declared, “outside of the evacuation area,” or N/A, the release says. Storm surge inundation heights range from ground level up to 32 feet, it notes. Evacuation Zone A is considered to be “lower” than Evacuation Zone E, it adds.

Residents and visitors may learn about storm surge and hurricane evacuation zones by visiting the All Hazards page on the county’s website,, under the Emergency Services heading at the bottom of the homepage. Once on All Hazards page, click on the “Evacuation Zones” tab and type a home address in the search box to find out where that home is located in relation to the evacuation zones, the release explains.

For more information, call the county Contact Center at 861-5000 or visit