Understanding evacuations during hurricanes

As Hurricane Irma churns closure to Central Florida, residents are urged to get familiar with their evacuation route.

“In some of these locations, your goal is to get away from the most dangerous impact of the hurricane to go to the center part of the state,” said Sgt. Kim Montes

Looking at the evacuation route map for Orange County can be a little confusing but Sgt.  Kim Montes with Florida Highway patrol breaks it down.

“What we want people to think of as evacuation routes is any major thoroughfare that gest you away from harms way into the center part of the state,” Montes said.

That means, I-4, 408, 417, I-75, I-95 -- any major roadway that can take you to an interstate going north. The evacuation routes are specific to each county on Floridadisaster.org – Florida Highway Patrol has already begun stocking up their mobile command center.

“If we start having issues in Orange County those major road highlighted in blue are probable going to be the best suited to handle the volume of traffic and any type of debris that could be on that roadway,” Montes said.

All gas stations  within a half mile of the evacuation routes are required by law to be wired for generators ,  Montes says a new concept called "shoulder sharing" could also be in play.

“At some point if the evacuation warrants then we actually use the shoulder as a lane for cars to travel in,” Montes said.

FHP recommends drivers call 311 or 511 for traffic information and road closures.