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Hurricane Preparedness

  • Martin County Hurricane Preparedness
Page Updated: 
September 15, 2020 at 10:56 AM

Road to Readiness

Martin County Road to Readiness GuideThe Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and ends November 30. Martin County would like to remind residents about the importance of being prepared and developing a family disaster plan should a hurricane threaten our area. Review our Road to Readiness guide.

During a declared emergency, residents can obtain Martin County-specific information by tuning to WQCS-88.9 FM at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 6:30 p.m., and can also listen to WSTU 1450 AM throughout the day. Local information is also available on MCTV on Comcast Channel 20 and on U-verse Channel 99.

About Hurricanes

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, which is a generic term for a low pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. The cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms and, in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth's surface. Hurricanes are categorized according to the strength of their winds using the 1 to 5 rating on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale.

Saffir-Simpson Scale

Saffir-Simpson Scale for Hurricane Classifications


Wind Speeds



74-95 MPH

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.


96-110 MPH

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.


111-129 MPH

Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.


130-156 MPH

Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.


157+ MPH

Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

 Non-Hurricane Classifications

Tropical Depression

< 38 MPH


Tropical Storm

39 - 73 MPH


 Source: National Hurricane Center

2020 Hurricane Names

2020 Atlantic Names:

  • Arthur
  • Bertha
  • Cristobal
  • Dolly
  • Edouard
  • Fay
  • Gonzalo
  • Hanna
  • Isaias
  • Josephine
  • Kyle
  • Laura
  • Marco
  • Nana
  • Omar
  • Paulette
  • Rene
  • Sally
  • Teddy
  • Vicky
  • Wilfred

In the event that more than twenty-one named tropical cyclones occur in the Atlantic basin in a season, additional storms will take names from the Greek alphabet: 

  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Gamma
  • Delta
  • Epsilon
  • Zeta
  • Eta
  • Theta
  • Iota
  • Kappa
  • Lambda
  • Mu
  • Nu
  • Xi
  • Omicron
  • Pi
  • Rho
  • Sigma
  • Tau
  • Upsilon
  • Phi
  • Chi
  • Psi
  • Omega

2020 Season Outlook

Know Your Zone

This section features information about evacuation zones and flood zones in Martin County. Evacuation zones are NOT the same as flood zones, though they are often mistaken for each other. Evacuation zones and flood zones differ and measure conditions that may not occur at the same time.

What are Evacuation Zones?

Storm Surge Evacuation Zones are determined by the National Hurricane Center and indicate areas that will be affected by storm surge, which officials may order evacuated during a hurricane. Evacuation zones in Martin County are identified as AB, CD and E, and some areas of the county are not located in any evacuation zone.

Martin County Emergency Management will issue storm surge evacuation orders, when necessary, through the media, by going door-to-door, or via telephone/text outcalls using the AlertMartin Emergency Alert System. Evacuate when directed and move to a shelter outside of the storm surge evacuation zone. 

How to Find Your Zone: 

In the video below, Martin County Emergency Management explains how to find your property and determine if you are located in a Storm Surge Evacuation Zones Map. To learn more about storm surge evacuation zones, visit

What are Flood Zones?

Flood Zones are geographic areas that the FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk. These zones are depicted on a community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map. Each zone reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.

These zones are determined by FEMA to indicate a property’s risk for flooding and have nothing to do with hurricanes or other emergencies. They are used to determine flood insurance premium rates and some building code requirements.

Higher-risk flood zones are designated by the letters A and V. These zones are known as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Flood insurance is required in these zones if a homeowner has a federally-backed mortgage.

The moderate to low-risk flood zone is designated by the letter X (X-shaded and X-unshaded). Every property is located in a flood zone (unless it has been unstudied or undetermined).

When to check your flood zone:

  • When you are not sure if you need flood insurance 
  • When you refinance or get a mortgage
  • When you need building permits for work on your property
  • When you live in a low-lying area or near a stream, river, pond, or body of water

How to Determine your Flood Zone:

To find out which flood zone your home or property is located in, perform a property search via the county's Flood Zones Map. To learn more about flood zones, visit

Emergency Shelters

Shelter Team

Shelters are opened as needed during an emergency, and not all shelters may be opened at the same time. Shelters are designed to house residents of the barrier islands, those in low-lying or flood-prone areas, in evacuation zones, mobile or manufactured homes, or those who have no other sheltering options. Your first, best choice is to stay with family or friends in a safe place.

When shelters are opened, they will be announced on our shelter locations page below, via local radio and television broadcasts, and on social media. If seeking shelter, take your disaster supply kit with you. Cots and blankets will not be provided and shelters will not have everything that you need.

The pet-friendly shelter will accept dogs or cats, all pets must be in a carrier/crate, and all dogs must have a collar with a leash. Residents should be prepared to show proof of rabies vaccination and their pet’s Martin County Registration Tag. Don’t forget to include supplies for your pet in your kit.

A special needs shelter will be designated and will provide basic medical assistance and monitoring. Pre-registration is strongly recommended via online registration or by calling Martin County Emergency Management at (772) 287-1652.

Evacuation Assistance

The Martin County Special Needs Registry and Evacuation Transportation Assistance Program provides assistance to eligible citizens in times of disaster or when an evacuation has been ordered. This assistance may include sheltering at a general shelter, or a special needs shelter that includes limited medical oversight and needs such as oxygen, as well as evacuation transportation to and from the shelter.

When evacuation orders are issued within the county, registrants are contacted and advised when transportation will arrive to pick them up from a home and take them to a shelter. The program also provides for citizens in need of transportation due to economic difficulties, a disability, or lack of transportation from their home to a shelter. Residents must pre-register and must renew each year.

Who is Eligible?

  • Martin County residents requiring transportation to and from a designated emergency shelter;
  • Residents residing in an ordered evacuation area, recommended evacuation area, or unsafe residence (mobile/manufactured home), or;
  • Residents requiring, within the limits of services provided, assistance with mobility, oxygen, routine medication administration, and/or routine health monitoring.

Residents requiring greater levels of assistance than can be provided by this service such as a hospital bed, hemodialysis, life support equipment, IV chemotherapy, full ventilator, etc. must make alternative plans with the assistance of a physician or health care professional.

How to Register

Residents must pre-register and must renew each year:

  • Residents can register online, OR;
  • Residents can call our Martin County Special Needs Coordinator at (772) 287-1652.
  • Home health agencies must register clients upon intake. 

A committee reviews each application and determines eligibility of the applicant. Individuals with medical needs that exceed the level of care available at the Special Needs Shelter need to have a care plan in place to address their individual needs during an emergency situation. Individuals with no medical needs who just require transportation during evacuation orders will be transported to a general population shelter.

Emergency Alerts

Alert Martin Logo

AlertMartin is a free service provided by Martin County that allows Emergency Management, Fire Rescue, Utilities, Martin County Sheriff's Office and municipal partners to send important public safety messages, evacuation notices and other timely warnings by phone, text and/or email.

To sign up, simply text ALERTMARTIN to 888777 or or select the button below.

FPL Resources

This section features helpful resources and information provided by Florida Power & Light (FPL) such as how to report a power outage, how to track the status of an outage and generator safety tips to help keep you and your family safe during and after a storm impacts our area.

Weather Stations

WeatherSTEM is in place and active at locations throughout Martin County. WeatherSTEM provides users live-streaming high resolution weather cameras, weather health/safety alert notifications, lightning detection, heat level monitoring, and real-time/future-cast radar information.

Residents can access the local WeatherSTEM forecasts and weather monitoring by selecting the button below, or by downloading the free WeatherSTEM app on a smartphone or mobile device through the App Store or Google Play

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