Storm surge, the dome of water pushed ashore by powerful hurricane wind, kills. Storm surge isn’t a gradual rising of water. It rushes in and out, sweeping anything not secured back out to sea, people included. During Hurricane Katrina, entire buildings were moved, and some of the people who didn’t evacuate are still among the missing.
Staying safe from surge flooding is easy. If a hurricane is predicted for Santa Rosa County and you live in a zone that has been ordered to evacuate, get out. Do not stay in an area at risk for surge flooding. Do not plan to escape to higher floors and do not wait until the last minute. Leave for higher ground and survive the storm.
Hurricane force winds of 74 miles per hour (mph) or greater, can destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes. Debris, such as signs, roofing material, siding and small items left outside, become flying missiles. Winds often stay above hurricane strength well inland. It is important to prepare your home from the effects of hurricane force winds.