'Know Your Zone': NC officials provide guidance as state prepares for 2020 hurricane season

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Less than two weeks into the hurricane season, North Carolina is launching a new initiative to make sure you and your family are prepared for a severe storm amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Know Your Zone is the name of the campaign led by the NC Dept. of Public Safety and NC Emergency Management.

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The agencies are partnering with 20 coastal counties to encourage everyone to know your zone; a pre-determined lettered zone that will be used to evacuate coastal areas in the event of a hurricane, tropical storm, or other emergencies.

The goal is to simplify the evacuation process and make it easier to understand for locals and out of town visitors.

"In the past, you may have seen orders that call for evacuate of low lying areas, unincorporated areas, or areas within a certain distance of a river or stream," said Erik Hooks, Sec. of Public Safety. "Those kind of evacuation orders can be confusing for people not familiar with local geography."

For this to work, you need to know your zone before a disaster strikes and then listen for when your zone is ordered to evacuate.

"Know Your Zone establishes lettered evacuation zones," said Hooks. "Zone A is the area most at risk in the county, and would typically be evacuated first, followed by Zone B and so on. This tiered approach is to evacuate higher risk areas first and to avoid putting everyone on the road at the same time."

The state has launched a new website where you can type in your address to learn what zone you fall into.
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