The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is rolling out new Storm Surge Planning Zones for the 2013 hurricane season based upon updated information and data received from the State of Florida’s Regional Evacuation Study. The projected areas of the county that are at risk for storm surge are a significant change from what we have been used to for the last 10 years. These expanded areas within the county prompted a change to our traditional A, B, & C evacuation zones. The new data and information is based upon two main criteria:
- Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data which more accurately maps out land elevations across the county.
- Larger hurricane simulations, in terms of the breadth of the wind fields, which better represent the diameter and intensity of storms that have been generated in the recent past Atlantic Hurricane seasons.
Based on the information provided from the Regional Evacuation Study and discussions with the National Hurricane Center and the South Florida Water Management District; OEM has formulated new Storm Surge Planning Zones. The Planning Zones are A through E, and incorporate all areas of the county where there is a risk of storm surge. The Storm Surge Planning Zones were designed to educate county residents of their potential risk so they may plan accordingly. Miami-Dade residents who live within one of the five Storm Surge Planning Zones should develop plans to either evacuate or shelter in place.
When Miami-Dade County is threatened by a hurricane, OEM will utilize advisories issued in advance of a storm from the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service to determine which of the Planning Zones are at risk for storm surge from that particular storm. Messages to the public regarding evacuation and sheltering in place will be tailored to the latest advisories.
Residents can find out more information about the Storm Surge Planning Zones by going to miamidade.gov Services Near You, see the link below, where they can look up their individual address or link to the Miami-Dade Emergency Management website for more information, including a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions. Call takers at Miami-Dade 311 are also available to answer questions that residents may have regarding these changes.