Planning for a Hurricane: Evacuation Routes

Manatee County evacuation routes

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Ever since Hurricane Irma in 2017, surveys have shown many of us take hurricane season more seriously. One thing you want to make sure you’re aware of is your evacuation level and what routes you’d take if you need to leave.

An easy way to find what evacuation level you’re in is by checking out your county’s website. Sarasota County’s evacuation level map can be found here and Manatee County’s evacuation level map can be found here.

Both maps offer information about evacuation zones, emergency shelters, and evacuation routes. In Manatee County, people should note that emergency shelters open up in phases, not all at once. But in Sarasota County, this hurricane season they will open up all shelters at once.

Sarasota County's Emergency Management Chief, Ed McCrane, reminds drivers to have a plan on when to leave if they want to evacuate.

"If the plan is to evacuate long distance, they need to leave early. Make sure they have a full tank of gas and seek other routes. State Road 72, 70, and 64 go east then they meet roads that go north like 17,27, and even 95. So I-75 is definitely going to be a parking lot and is going to move very very slowly if that's the route they choose to go," McCrane said.

Manatee County's Emergency Management Chief, Steve Litschauer, urges residents who plan to evacuate to only travel tens of miles instead of hundreds of miles.

“That way they can’t tie up the roads, not be stranded without gas, but still be nearby. So look for if they don’t have to evacuate, don’t,” Litschauer said.

Manatee County also is reminding residents to know their home and if it strong enough and safe enough for them to stay in instead of evacuate.

But, in both counties RVs and mobile homes, no matter where they are on the map, will always be in evacuation level A.

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