Beaches ordered to evacuate: What does that mean?

Tiffany Butler

At a press conference today, Mayor Lenny Curry ordered residents in Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach and Atlantic Beach to evacuate as soon as possible, and declared a state of emergency for Duval County.

“If there’s anybody out there who is concerned with the inconvenience of an evacuation, I would tell you deal with the inconvenience,” Curry said. “We’re talking about public safety.”

The evacuation applies to people in Zones A and B. Find out your zone here.

An evacuation means that people who live in the beaches are strongly encouraged to leave the area. Curry made it clear that while city officials will not be going in and forcing people to leave their homes, and public safety workers will not be accessing the area.

Governor Rick Scott urged Florida residents to evacuate at a press conference Tuesday afternoon in Nassau County. He declared a state of emergency Oct. 3.

Everyone is urged to know their evacuation routes, even if an evacuation for your area has not been ordered yet.

Evacuation Routes for Duval County. Graphic Courtesy FloridaDisasters.org
Evacuation Routes for Duval County — the areas in red and orange are being evacuated. Graphic Courtesy FloridaDisasters.org

Hurricane Matthew is expected to come within 50 miles of Jacksonville Friday, according to the National Weather Center (NWC). It is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane, somewhere between a category 3-5, with winds around 110 mph.

Duval County is currently under a hurricane watch. “The watch should trigger your family’s disaster plan, and proactive measures should be initiated,” according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

In the case that UNF has to evacuate, Bob Boyle, director of Housing and Residence Life and member of the Crisis Management team, said they will communicate with students rapidly to get them out.

“At this point, we have an agreement with the Red Cross and Atlantic Coast High School. UNF Housing and Residence Life staff would go and run the shelter along with the ARC staff and stay with the students,” Boyle said.

Read more about the plan for students who live on campus here.

Students are encouraged to have some sort of plan, be it to go home, stay with friends, or go somewhere they know will be safe. For those who don’t have anywhere else to go, the university will work with them, including transporting them to a shelter.

“If the university decides to close campus, lock it down, nobody will be allowed to stay, so we’ll be working with students to make sure they have a plan in place and a place to go,” Boyle said

The UNF Crisis Management team has canceled classes after 3 p.m. today through Saturday, Oct. 8. 

Important Links:

National Hurricane Center: HERE

Duval county shelter information: HERE

Duval CODE RED notifications: HERE

Duval evac. map: HERE

Find your evac. zone by address: HERE

Important Phone Numbers:

UNF Crisis Management Team

UNFPD: (904) 620-2800

American Red Cross: (904) 358-8091

Atlantic Coast High School: (904)538-5120

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office: (904) 630-0500

Atlantic Beach Police Department: (904) 247-5859

Neptune Beach Police Department: (904)  270-2413

Jacksonville Beach Police Department: (904) 247-6171

Beaches Energy: (904) 247-6171

JEA: (904) 665-6000

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].