In the event of a hurricane emergency . . .
Residents of Jacksonville Beach will be notified in advance of any plans for evacuation through the media. CodeRED Emergency Notification system will provide special notification alerts and announcements such as debris collection, road closures, power outages, etc. Click Here to register for CodeRED Notifications.
Evacuation and Re-Entry Information
A tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 mph or less.
A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph.
A hurricane is an intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.
In other parts of the world, the term hurricane is synonymous for typhoon or cyclone.
Intensity and Damage for Hurricanes
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale breaks hurricanes into categories based on sustained wind speeds.
- Category 1: 74-95 MPH
- Category 2: 96-110 MPH
- Category 3: 111-129 MPH
- Category 4: 130-157 MPH
- Category 5: greater than 157 MPH
Category 1 and 2 Hurricanes: Usually pose minor damage to stable structures but can do major damage to mobile homes, vegetation, and piers. Flooding will occur in some coastal areas and low lying areas.
Category 3 Hurricanes: May cause some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings, but mobile homes are destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys structures with floating debris. Low areas may be flooded inland 8 or more miles.
Category 4 and 5 Hurricanes: These storms are the most deadly and destructive. Both can create complete roof failure and building collapse of residences and industrial buildings. Major damage occurs in the lower floors of structures along the shoreline, and massive beach erosion is caused by the storm surge. Flooding of 15 feet or more may occur along the shoreline and up to 10 miles inland.
Four Main Concerns with Hurricanes and Tropical Storms
- Wind. Wind ranks second behind storm surge, among the lethal components of a hurricane's destructive force, yet affects far more people due to the regional impact. High winds will impact inland as well as coastal areas causing problems such as structural failure, damage from wind blown debris, transportation and evacuation issues.
- Flooding. Flooding may be due to thunderstorms passing through an area dropping a considerable amount of rain or related heavy rains from a slow moving tropical storm or hurricane. Several areas in the city may be prone to flash flooding due to low land elevations and close proximity to the ocean. Nationally, flash floods are the number one cause of weather related deaths.
- Storm Surge. Storm surge is considered the most destructive of the forces related to hurricanes and could present a major hazard in Northeast Florida coastal communities from the force and associated flooding. Storm surge is the result of wind driven water impacting the continental shelf and building up large waves of water reaching heights up to fifteen to twenty feet as it reaches the coast. Severe damage to any structure in the path can be expected as well as extensive beach erosion. Storm surge will also have an effect on the Intracoastal Waterway and adjoining property, backing up tidal waters and resulting in extremely high tides and possible flooding.
- Tornadoes. Tornadoes are described as violent rotating columns of air (100-300 mph) extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. This type of phenomenon will be associated with a thunderstorm or may form during a hurricane.
- Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.
- Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.
- Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.
- Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical force winds.