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Storm Surge Planning Zones

Storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. It occurs when water from the ocean is pushed on shore by the force of tropical storms or hurricanes. This is the primary reason Miami-Dade County residents are asked to evacuate prior to a hurricane.

A Storm Surge Planning Zone is an area that could potentially be affected by a storm surge of 1 1/2 feet or higher during a hurricane. Evacuation decisions are heavily predicated on storm surge planning.

Upon identification of a threat, each zone (or portions of a zone) will be evacuated depending on the hurricane’s track and projected storm surge, independent of the hurricane's category. Look up your storm surge planning zone (map).

Remember these planning zones deal strictly with storm surge; you still need to determine if your home is safe to remain in during a hurricane. 

Miami-Dade County's Emergency Operations Center or Mayor will use local media to relay pertinent information. You can register for emergency notifications to the device of your choice via Miami-Dade Alerts.

About the zones

Five zones, marked A through E, identify the risk of storm surge. Zone A is at greatest risk for Category 1 storms and higher. These planning zones deal strictly with storm surge, not your flood zone.
  • Zone A is at greatest risk for storm surge for Category 1 and higher storms.
  • Zone B is at risk for storm surge for Category 2 and higher storms.
  • Zone C is at risk for storm surge for Category 3 and higher storms.
  • Zone D is at risk for storm surge for Category 4 and higher storms.
  • Zone E is at risk for storm surge from Category 5 storms.

How the zones are created

Storm Surge Planning Zones are drawn using Sea, Lake and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) model grids that incorporate local physical features such as geographic coastal areas, bays, rivers, water depth and bridges. Areas along canals, rivers and further inland have been identified as being at risk for storm surge based on SLOSH data.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: Mobile home residents and people on electrically dependent life sustaining medical equipment should evacuate when any hurricane evacuation order is issued, regardless of their storm surge planning zone.


Know Your Zone