Tyrrell County establishes Evacuation Zones

Published 1:42 pm Wednesday, June 17, 2020

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North Carolina Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks and Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry announced Friday the implementation of the Know Your Zone initiative for North Carolina’s coastal communities.

The state has worked with 20 coastal counties to create predetermined evacuation zones to help residents stay safe from the impacts of hurricanes, tropical storms and other hazards, while allowing for simple and orderly evacuations.

Some counties (including Tyrrell) only need one zone where others have up to five zones in order to evacuate as efficiently as possible without over evacuating.  Some inland counties that are not as susceptible to storm surge developed evacuation zones based on river flooding.

Development of the zones by county officials began with storm surge modeling from North Carolina’s Hurricane Evacuation Study. County officials were able to use the study maps to determine potential for inundation, and combine that with population data, as well as previous local experience with coastal evacuations to draft the evacuation zones needed for their county.

There is an online address lookup tool at KnowYourZone.nc.gov for residents in coastal counties to find their zone. The website also contains, county-by-county zone maps, educational materials, frequently asked questions and the North Carolina Hurricane Guide. The hurricane guide, which is available in both print and digital form, provides information for storm preparedness, response and recovery, and has been published in English and Spanish.

The Know Your Zone website is also available in Spanish at Conozca Su Zona.

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 (all of Tyrrell County) 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 goal of Know Your Zone is to educate coastal residents and visitors about their evacuation zones so that everyone knows the zone they live in and knows to look and listen for that zone when evacuations are ordered,” said Public Safety Secretary Erik Hooks. “Knowing your zone and when to evacuate can save lives.”