Frequently Asked Questions about Know Your Zone

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North Carolina Know Your Zone is a tiered evacuation system that highlights areas most vulnerable to impacts from hurricanes, tropical storms, and other hazards. The Know Your Zone lookup tool is a new color-coded interactive map you can use to determine the evacuation zone where you live, work, or are visiting based upon your street address.

Evacuation zones highlight areas most at risk to storm surge and flooding. Local officials will determine which areas 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.
 

Know Your Zone is intended to streamline the evacuation process by supporting personal readiness as you prepare for hazardous weather events. In addition to helping you avoid unnecessary evacuation travel, zones can also ease overcrowding at local storm shelters and increase public safety. Knowing your zone and when to evacuate can ultimately save your family’s life.

When a storm is approaching, local officials will determine the zones that are most threatened to assess which residents should evacuate. 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.

The 20 counties in North Carolina that have evacuation zones are; Beaufort, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, and Washington. Use the KYZ Lookup Tool to see if an address in one of these counties is located in an evacuation zone.

Click here to access the interactive map of evacuation zones. Once the map has loaded, you can enter your address in the search bar at the upper left and the map will zoom to that location. A pop up a box with details on your evacuation zone will appear. Alternatively, you can zoom into the location of your choosing and click on the map.  

If there are no pre-determined evacuation zones in your area, it is not expected that you would be evacuated due to hazardous storm conditions. However, this does not mean that you will never receive instructions from your local officials for major emergencies. You should still know how to protect your family from potential risks and listen closely to emergency communications during any severe weather event or emergency. 

Local officials worked together to design your evacuation zones based on vulnerability to storm surge and flooding, population density, and historical knowledge. Some counties may have only two evacuation zones (A&B) while other counties have additional zones including Zones C, D, and E. 

Local officials maintain the responsibility of ordering evacuations. Please listen to local officials, local media outlets, and other trusted sources to maintain awareness of evacuation decisions.

Make a plan to stay with family or friends, or at a hotel if you need to evacuate. You can also offer to let evacuating family or friends stay with you, if you don't need to evacuate. A shelter should be a place of last resort during an evacuation, not your primary option.   

Prepare your family’s emergency supply kit including key family papers and extra cash. Fill your car with gasoline and be familiar with alternate routes. If you do not have a car, consider how you will evacuate and make arrangements with others if necessary. 

The North Carolina Hurricane Guide is a great tool and resource on where to find information before, during, and after a storm. If have nowhere else to go, and need an emergency shelter, open storm shelters can be found on the ReadyNC website. The thought of hurricanes and leaving home can be scary for some children so it is important to talk to them and hear their concerns. A fun kids packet has been created to help children learn their evacuation zones and become more familiar with terms they may hear when a tropical weather is approaching.   
 

Evacuations are only called for when the lives and safety of those in the area being evacuated will be at risk. Once an evacuation has been called, gather your belongings (including your emergency supply kit) and leave as soon as possible for your personal safety. If time allows, secure your home by locking doors and windows. By following evacuation orders, you are protecting both yourself and first responders. 

Local officials will determine when it is safe to travel and return home. It’s likely that a staged reentry process will be implemented to allow for a safe and orderly return to allow the recovery process to begin. To prepare for reentry, ensure you have proper identification. If you’re visiting the state, contact your accommodations provider before leaving to verify your property or room is available. 

Some internet or mobile services may experience trouble loading the interactive map. You can still ‘Know Your Zone’ by contacting your local emergency manager.

Developing evacuation zones took much time and effort. While some updates may be necessary to enhance local implementation, routine updates are not anticipated in order to eliminate confusion with zone changes.