In the event that an evacuation of the beaches area is called for by the Mayor of Jacksonville (usually a Category 1 hurricane or greater), there will be a general population evacuation.
- Evacuation orders and instructions for Duval County will be issued by the Jacksonville Mayor's Office. All public instructions will be issued from the City of Jacksonville's Emergency Operations Center and broadcast by the radio and TV media.
- All citizens are to be instructed to seek shelter well inland. Sheltering with family and friends or in a hotel/motel will provide the most comfort.
- Persons who wish to go to an ARC public shelter should listen to official announcements on radio and TV for shelter locations and instructions. There are some pet friendly shelters however there are certain restrictions.
- There are no public hurricane shelters at the beaches. Persons who need transportation to an ARC public shelter should go to the evacuation centers at Fletcher Middle School and Jacksonville Beach Elementary School. Public transportation will be available at these sites to transport people to ARC shelters.
- For expected landfall by a category 1-5 hurricane, the entire civilian population of Jacksonville Beach will be evacuated.
- For hurricane projections of marginal landfall, the City of Jacksonville Beach will be evacuated based on predicted damage and life safety issues.
- All vehicles will be able to leave the beach at the route of their choice however if the need arises, law enforcement may redirect traffic.
- The decision to close bridge traffic at the Intracoastal Waterway will be a coordinated effort between agencies. Bridge traffic will be stopped when winds reach a sustained 39 mph for 1 minute (at the top of the bridge).
Duval County Evacuation Routes for the Beaches
- North of Atlantic Boulevard: Drive south and turn west on Wonderwood Drive or Atlantic Boulevard, proceed to Florida 9A North across the Dames Point Bridge (Broward Bridge) to points west via Interstate 295 and north by Interstate 95.
- Between Atlantic and Beach Boulevards: Drive south and turn west on Beach Boulevard, proceed to Hart Bridge Expressway to Interstate 95 to Interstate 10 or points west.
- Between Beach and Butler Boulevards: Drive south and turn west on to Butler Boulevard, proceed to Interstate 95 and points west.
- Florida Department of Transportation: Traffic infomation can be found at www.FL511.com
As soon as reasonable after the storm passes, an assessment of the beach cities will be made. Depending on the level of damage, hazards, and other factors, a decision will be made to allow re-entry to the beaches. Re-entry will occur in phases based on health and safety issues and damage assessment.
- Obtain your Evacuation Re-entry Pass at City Hall or Jacksonville Beach Fire Station #1. A Re-entry Pass will allow you to pass through re-entry check points.
- Phase 1 re-entry will be residents, essential staff of critical municipal agencies, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, property managers and protection agents.
- Phase 2 re-entry will be all those listed in Phase 1 and essential employees of health care and community service agencies, essential employees of the banks, repair workers, and disaster response teams.
- Persons returning to the beach will have a re-entry pass or will be issued a pass at one of the check-points, which is supervised by a law enforcement officer.
- Curfews may be enforced to limit the duration of the re-entry period.
Additional Safety Tips
Following are a few general guidelines to ensure safety and order when returning to your home or business after an evacuation.
- Stay off the roads as much as possible.
- Treat any intersection with a non-functioning traffic signal as a four-way stop.
- Do not cross flooded roadways and avoid standing water.
- If your power is out, turn off all appliances that are still on.
- If using a generator, ensure proper air circulation to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Stay away from any downed power lines.
- Take the necessary health and food safety precautions.