Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Millions Across Southeast U.S. Ordered to Evacuate as Hurricane Irma Approaches Florida

Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. EST

According to the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, however, this storm is still  extremely dangerous and poses life-threatening hazards to those in its path.  In Florida, the Florida Division of Emergency Management estimates that 6.3 million people have been ordered to evacuate. Please heed all evacuation orders and follow the instructions of public safety officials.

Florida Governor Rick Scott has warned residents in evacuation zones that they “need to go right now.”

Public Advisories

Here’s the breakdown of public advisories from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) 2:00 PM EST, September 9, 2017 update:

  • Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
    • Fernandina Beach southward around the Florida peninsula to
      the Aucilla River;
    • Florida Keys;
    • Lake Okeechobee;
    • Florida Bay;
    • Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus,
      Villa Clara, Matanzas, and Havana;
    • Andros Island, Bimini and Grand Bahama.
  • Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
    • North of Fernandina Beach to Edisto Beach;
    • West of the Aucilla River to Indian Pass;
    • Cuban provinces of Holguin and Las Tunas.
  • Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
    • Cuban provinces of Holguin, Las Tunas.
  • A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
    • North of Edisto Beach to South Santee River;
    • West of Indian Pass to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line.
  • Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:
    • Volusia/Brevard County line southward around the Florida peninsula to the Suwanee River;
    • Florida Keys;
    • Tampa Bay.
  • Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:
    • North of the Volusia/Brevard County line to the Isle of Palms,
      South Carolina;
    • North of the Suwanee River to Ochlockonee River.

For all current updates, please refer to products from your local weather service.

Evacuations Orders Across the Southeast U.S.*


  • Brevard – mandatory for Zone A, Merritt Island, barrier islands, and some low lying mainland areas along Indian River Lagoon beginning Friday PM
  • Broward – voluntary mobile homes and low-lying areas beginning Wednesday 12 PM; mandatory East of Federal Highway including barrier islands beginning Thursday 12 PM
  • Charlotte – recommended Don Pedro Island, Knight Island (Palm Island), Little Gasparilla Island, Manosota Key, all mobile homes on Thursday
  • Citrus – mandatory west of Hwy 19 and 1/2 mile east of Hwy 98 excluding Sugarmill Woods, including all of the City of Crystal River, all low-lowing areas and anyone residing in mobile homes, manufactured homes, and all unsafe structures beginning Friday PMgeorg
  • Collier – mandatory for Goodland, Everglades City, Chokoloskee, all mobile homes beginning on Friday PM
  • Desoto – voluntary for low-lying areas, mobile homes, and RV parks
  • Flagler – mandatory for nursing homes, all varieties of assisted living facilities, and community residential group homes within coastal and Intracoastal areas and voluntary for zones A, B, C, F beginning on Thursday; mandatory for Zones A,B,C,F, and substandard housing beginning on Saturday AM
  • Glades – manadatory areas around Lake Okeechobee (Lakeport, Moorehaven, Washington Park, Benbow, and Uncle Joe’s Motel and Campground), Zone A, mobile homes, RV parks, buildings constructed before 1992 beginning on Thursday PM
  • Hardee – voluntary low-lying areas, mobile homes, and structures
  • Hendry – voluntary low-lying areas, non slab-built homes, mobile homes, trailers and RVs, manadatory areas near Lake Okeechobee (Clewiston, Hookers Point, Harlem, Flaghole, Montura Ranch Estates, Mid-County MSBU which inlcudes Ladeca, Pioneer Plantation and Leon-Dennis Subdivision, Al Don Farming Road) beginning Friday
  • Hernando – mandatory for Zones A and B and mobile homes beginning Friday at 2 PM
  • Highlands – voluntary for low areas, and mobile/manufactured homes
  • Hillsborough – voluntary for special needs in Zone A
  • Indian River – barrier islands, manufactured homes, low-lying areas, sub-standard housing, all areas east of US 1 for Thursday voluntary for Thursday and mandatory for Saturday
  • Lee – Cape Coral west of Burnt Store Road and south of Cape Coral Parkway, east of Del Prado Boulevard to Viscaya Parkway, North Fort Myers south of Bay Shore Road from Moody Road to State Road 31 and areas south of North River Road from State Road 31 to Fichters Creek, Areas of Iona south of Maple Drive, west of U.S. 41, San Carlos Park west of U.S. 41, Estero west of U.S. 41, north of the Estero River, Bonita Springs communities along Estero Bay and the Imperial River Basin, all of the barrier islands
  • Manatee – voluntary for Zone A and mobile homes
  • Martin – voluntary as of Wednesday; mandatory for barrier islands, manufactured homes, and low lying areas beginning Saturday AM
  • Miami-Dade – mandatory evacuation of Zones A and B beginning on Wednesday PM; additional portions of Zone C south of Coral Way
  • Monroe – mandatory for visitors beginning Wednesday 7 AM, mandatory for residents beginning Wednesday 7 PM
  • Palm Beach – mandatory for Zone A and B, voluntary for Zone C and Lake Zone E (Canal Point, Belle Glade, and Pahokee) beginning Wednesday PM
  • Pasco – mandatory beginning 10 AM Friday — west of US 19; north of Fox Hollow Drive west of Little Road, south of Fox Hollow Drive, west of Regency Park Blvd/Rowan Road/Seven Springs Blvd; special needs residents, mobile homes, RVs, and low-lying areas; voluntary for residents south of Fox Hollow Drive to south county line between Regency Park Blvd/Rowan Road/Seven Springs Blvd, and Little road beginning Friday at 6 PM
  • Pinellas – mandatory all mobile home and Zone A
  • Sarasota – volunatary Zone A (Longboat, Lido, Siesta, Casey Key, Manasota Key, Venice Island), all mobile homes
  • St. Lucie – mandatory north and south Hutchinson Island, low-lying areas, manufactured homes


  • All areas east of I-95, all of Chatham County and some areas west of I-95 are under a MANDATORY EVACUATION effe​ctive Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 at 8 a.m. 

South Carolina:

  • Edisto Beach in Colleton County
  • Daufuskie, Fripp, Harbor, Hunting and Hilton Head Islands in Beaufort County
  • Knowles and Tullifiny in Jasper County

*Evacuation notifications are subject to change and should be actively monitored. Hagerty recommends consulting your local government for official changes in evacuation guidance.


Major Disaster


Resources and Related Links

Hurricane Harvey Recovery and Relief Resources:

Many of the areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey remain hazardous disaster zones and are still in the earliest stages of recovery. To be part of recovery efforts, please see resources listed below:

Hurricane Irma News and Updates:

  • The National Hurricane Center regularly updated tracking of Hurricane Irma: link
  • Remember, Ready.gov provides information on how to prepare for a storm and how to keep you and your family safe: link

Hagerty Consulting is an emergency management consulting firm that helps our clients prepare for and recover from disasters. Established in 2001, Hagerty Consulting’s work includes some of the nation’s largest recovery and preparedness projects in more than 30 states, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy.

You can learn more about our disaster recovery practice here.