It's not a matter of "if", it's a matter of "when" Central Florida will fall victim to a hurricane strike.
Should you evacuate as the storm nears? The answer depends largely on where you live, the intensity of the storm, from where it's coming and its forward speed.
•If you live east of I-95 be prepared to leave. That area is considered the primary "Atlantic Land Falling" hurricane evacuation zone. It is prone to deadly storm surge and flooding.
•If you live in a mobile or manufactured home be prepared to leave no matter where you're located. Mobile homes and modular/manufactured homes must be evacuated for any hurricane, even if you live inland. Most wind related fatalities are in mobile and manufactured homes.
•If you live west of I-95 in a well constructed home built after 2000, consider staying.
•A storm approaching through what's called "the back door"(from the Gulf of Mexico) would produce little if any significant surge. Heavy rain and damaging winds can still be expected though. Wait on official word about whether to evacuate.
Traffic jams across Central Florida can be tricky to navigate. Throw in a major storm event like a hurricane, and traffic control becomes a major issue. The Florida Department of Emergency Management has prepared evacuation routes, to make your voyage a little easier.
It's best to know your evacuation route and try to leave as early as you can. Fill up with gas early to avoid long lines. And, remember to avoid driving on streets that are flooded.
Main evacuation routes by county:
Brevard: US-1 or I-95
Lake: US-441, US-17/92, or I-4
Orange: I-4, US-441, US-17/92, Florida's Turnpike or SR-417
Osceola: Florida's Turnpike, I-4, or US-441
Seminole: I-4, SR-417, US-17/92
Volusia: US-1, I-95, US-17/92
Liz Horton, Fox 35Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun