Know Your Zone: Evacuating North Carolina’s coastal counties

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 8:44am

Know Your Zone, North Carolina’s new system of coastal evacuation zones, launched earlier this month. It’s a tiered evacuation system that focuses on areas most vulnerable to impacts from hurricanes, tropical storms and other hazards. The campaign was implemented to simplify the evacuation process by assigning lettered evacuation zones in each county, based on areas of higher and lower risk of flooding.

How Does it Work?
Local governments in 20 North Carolina coastal counties have drawn pre-determined evacuation zones. As storms approach, local officials will determine which zones need to be evacuated. 

North Carolinians should visit and learn their zone by entering their address into the interactive map. Don’t forget to find the zone for your workplace, children’s school or your loved ones too.

During an Emergency
Local officials will determine which zones should be evacuated. Areas in Zone A will typically be evacuated first, followed by areas in Zone B, etc. While all zones won’t be evacuated in every event, emergency managers will work with local media and use other outreach tools to notify residents and visitors of impacted zones and evacuation instructions. Residents should look and listen for their county name and zone when evacuations are ordered.

Tell Your Neighbors
Once you have learned your zone, the website has plenty of resources to share with your community. Social media graphics, posters and even a children’s activity packet are available to download. Use them to help spread the word about Know Your Zone. The more people who know their zone, the smoother the evacuation process becomes.

Emergency Kit
Don’t forget your emergency preparedness kit. You want to be ready when evacuation orders are given. While we are all coping with COVID-19, your kit should include items to stay healthy like masks or cloth face covers, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and sanitizing wipes – in addition to normal emergency supplies like food, flashlights, batteries and more. Get a complete list of items to include in your emergency kit by visiting

Dabney Weems