October 4, 2023

ReadyVB: How to Really Understand Your Evacuation Zone in Virginia Beach

Knowing your evacuation zone will provide clarity on whether you should evacuate during a hurricane or shelter at home.

Know Your Zone graphic with drawn waves crashing into land

When a hurricane or serious storm is expected to impact Virginia Beach, emergency officials will make an informed decision about evacuations pending severity of the storm. The public will be notified of instructions, which will usually be communicated through emergency notifications such as VBAlert, the City’s social media channels and website, local media, and email.

An evacuation order doesn’t necessarily mean all residents need to leave town to stay safe. City officials will announce the zones that need to evacuate. You just need to “Know Your Zone.”

How do ‘zones’ work?

The zones designated A through D clarify whether a resident should evacuate in an emergency, or shelter at home or in their place of business – based on their address and the nature of the emergency. When a storm approaches, Emergency Management will determine which zones are most at risk. They will consider the intensity, path, speed, tides and other meteorological factors.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management's Know Your Zone website shows an interactive, color-coded (red, orange, yellow, blue) map that indicates the evacuation zones. When you view the map, you will be prompted to enter your address in the search box. Your zone will then appear in color in the map.

Properties in Zone A (red) are in areas considered most at risk of flooding and storm surge. Then Zone B (orange) properties. Zone C (yellow) and last is Zone D (blue).

If your address is not located in a designated zone, you are not expected to evacuate due to any of the identified storm scenarios. However, that does not mean you will never have to listen to and follow instructions from Emergency Management for major emergencies.

Depending on the emergency, being safe might mean staying at home, a short trip to higher ground, or traveling to a different region of the state.

Evacuation Routes for Virginia Beach Residents

  • Interstates 64 and 264
  • Interstate 664 North, Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel
  • U.S. Route 17 North
  • U.S. Route 58 West
  • U.S. Route 460 West
  • State Route 10 West​

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is NOT a designated hurricane evacuation route. It is susceptible to high winds.

Stay Ahead (Before you Evacuate)

With proper planning and preparation, you can minimize the risks and ensure the safety of your loved ones and property. If an evacuation is called to order, you should have a plan ready and prepare your home to withstand a storm. Part of your plan should include:

Read more about ReadyVB emergency preparedness tips at the VirginiaBeach.gov/ReadyVB.

Stay Informed

It’s critical for residents to receive accurate information from the City and Emergency Management officials before a storm or hurricane hits. There are a variety of ways the City will share that information to the public. Read the full list of emergency notifications the City of Virginia Beach offers residents.

The City of Virginia Beach Emergency Management team promotes a comprehensive emergency management program to mitigate Virginia Beach's impacts from man-made, natural or technological disasters. Learn more at VirginiaBeach.gov/ReadyVB.

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