New in 2017, these are based on the latest science and historical records which more accurately identify areas at risk in specific storms, so Know Your Zone.
Evacuation zones are based on hurricane storm surge zones determined by the National Hurricane Center using ground elevation and the area’s vulnerability to storm surge from a hurricane. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management “Know Your Zone” maps are based on historic storm surge measurements combined with projected effects of storms of different intensity, path, speed, tides, and other meteorological factors. There are four hurricane evacuation zones, ranked by the risk of storm surge impact, with Zone A being the most likely to flood. In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, residents in these zones may be ordered to evacuate. Orders will be decided by local emergency managers.
Flood zones should not be confused with hurricane evacuation zones. FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are regulatory maps developed for the National Flood Insurance Program. The FIRMs are used to set flood insurance rates and building regulations. Residents should not use the FIRM zones to determine the need to evacuate.