Coastal Virginia Tiered Evacuation Zones
“Know Your Zone” serves roughly 1.25 million residents who live in Coastal Virginia, the region of the state most vulnerable to hurricanes and other tropical storms. Twenty-three localities participate in the tiered evacuation zones. Zones were developed in close coordination with local emergency managers throughout Hampton Roads, the Northern Neck, the Middle Peninsula and the Eastern Shore based on the most up-to-date engineering data for the region.
Zones are designated A through D. Zones provide residents with clarity on whether they should evacuate in an emergency or shelter at home, based on their physical street address and the nature of the emergency event. When a serious storm is expected to threaten or impact Virginia’s coastal regions, state and local emergency agencies will work with local news media outlets, as well as social media channels, that will then broadcast and publish evacuation directives to the public.
This website displays a detailed, interactive, color-coded map showing each evacuation zone. Residents can use the map to view their region or zoom in to their residential neighborhood and street. Users can enter their physical address in the search bar to view and confirm their designated evacuation zone.
Know Your Zone FAQs
WHAT ARE THE ZONES?
Evacuation zones designated A through D are in place across coastal Virginia. In the event of a storm or other emergency, residents of one or more zones may be directed to evacuate depending on tides, storm intensity, path, and other factors.
HOW WILL THE ZONES BE USED?
All you have to do is Know Your Zone.
When a storm is approaching, emergency managers will determine which zones are most at risk considering the intensity, path, speed, tides and other meteorological factors. Emergency managers at the state and local level will work with local media and use social media and other tools to notify residents of impacted zones what they should do to stay safe.
Depending on the emergency, being safe might mean staying at home, a short trip to higher ground, or traveling to a different region of the state.
WHAT PART OF VIRGINIA IS COVERED BY THE NEW TIERED EVACUATION ZONES?
The zones will serve Hampton Roads, the Middle Peninsula, Eastern Shore and Northern Neck.
Twenty-three localities participate in the program. They include the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach; counties of Accomack, Essex, Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond County, Surry, Westmoreland, York, and the town of Chincoteague.
HOW WILL THESE NEW ZONES ENHANCE CURRENT EVACUATION PLANS, BOOST PUBLIC SAFETY AND IMPROVE TRAVEL EFFICIENCY IN THE EVENT OF HURRICANES OR OTHER DISASTERS?
The tiered evacuation zones identify areas vulnerable to flooding with precision that was not available until 2017. The newest technology and data allows emergency managers to tell residents of coastal Virginia more clearly whether they need to evacuate or shelter at home during a storm or other emergency.
The program consolidates hundreds of complex local evacuation areas into easy-to-understand zones; making it much easier to communicate with residents as a storm approaches.
The zones help citizens avoid unnecessary evacuation travel, thereby reducing highway congestion, easing overcrowding at local storm shelters and boosting public safety.
WHAT IF I PUT IN MY ADDRESS AND MY HOME OR BUSINESS IS NOT LOCATED IN ONE OF THE DESIGNATED ZONES?
If your address is not located in a designated zone, the good news is you are not expected to be evacuated due to any of the identified storm scenarios.
However, that does not mean you will never have to heed instructions from your local emergency manager for major emergencies. You should still know how to protect your family from potential risks in the Commonwealth and listen closely to emergency communications during any severe weather event or emergency. Conditions can change quickly and emergency managers will provide you the best instructions to stay safe.
Learn more about preparing your family and business for any emergency at vaemergency.gov.
THE MAP DOESN’T SEEM TO BE WORKING FOR ME. HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHAT ZONE I AM LOCATED IN?
Some Internet or mobile services may have trouble loading the interactive map. You can still Know Your Zone by calling 2-1-1 or your local emergency manager.
Hurricane Evacuation Guide
Hurricanes are severe tropical storms, massive storm systems, that form over the open water in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Each year, many coastal communities experience threats from hurricanes including heavy rains, strong winds, rip currents, floods and coastal storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes. A hurricane’s high winds may spawn tornadoes. Torrential rains cause further damage by causing floods and landslides, which not only threaten coastal communities but may impact communities many miles inland.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October.
Get an Emergency Kit
It can take several days or weeks, depending on the severity of the storm and your geographic location, for government services and assistance to reach you and your family. An emergency kit is vital to keeping your family sustainable.
Many hurricane and emergency preparedness products are eligible for Virginia’s tax-free weekend held annually in August. The 3-day sales tax holiday starts the first Friday in August at 12:01 a.m. and ends the following Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Regularly replace items that go bad over time such as water, food, medication and batteries, and remember to keep in mind your family’s unique needs as you build your kit.
Recover & Rebuild
In the face of devastating and life-altering damage, it is not uncommon for families to feel frustrated and concerned. The road to recovery takes time. Everyone has an important role to play in repairing and rebuilding our communities, and there are steps you can take to ensure the safety of you and your family as you move forward through this transition. It’s also important to know you are not alone. Your community, local and state governments, and the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) are here to support you and provide information, resources, and needed assistance.