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Hurricanes and Storms

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

Contacts

Hurricane Tips

1. Start running your ice makers now and bagging the ice in freezer bags. Fill as much space in between your freezer items as you can.

2. Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning or drinking in tupperware-type containers. Remember to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water & the lids so the ice expands but doesn't crack the container.

3. Start using up your perishables to make more room for ice in the freezer.

4. Fill up (gas)  all vehicles & check tires & oil.

5. Cash from ATM, at least enough to get you through tolls and gas out of town. Call your bank if you plan on leaving the state so they don't freeze your card for out-of-area "suspicious" transactions.

6. All important docs screenshot & send to your email or mail to family out of state. Take originals in sealed bags or plastic bins.

7. Pet & livestock food & supplies. Vet records in case you need to shelter then at a storm-safe facility.

8. Evacuation plans and share with family members so they know where you're headed.

9. Consider putting heirlooms & photos in plastic bins in a high place, second floor, or safe room if you don't plan on taking them with you.

10. Secure all firearms and ammunition properly.

11. Place old rags & beach towels on your windowsills and at bottom of doors.  Even with the best windows & shutters, water seeping from the wind pressure happens. A few damp towels is better than soaked drywall or floors!

12. Shutter windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house now. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until its too late (essential storm personnel, hospital employee or first responder).

13. If you don't already have your hurricane supplies, you might want to get them now. Shelves are already empty in most places.

14.  Charge all digital devices.

15.  Place a cup of water in freezer.  When frozen place a coin on top and put in freezer.   If power goes out you will know because the coin will float to bottom.

16.  Be sure you have all necessary medications for at least a week.

17. Store important documents in an empty dishwasher and lock. Water will not get in it. 

 

Tropical Depression

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.
 

Tropical Storm

A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph.
 


Hurricane

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.
     

Alert Notifications

  • 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.