MANATEE- The Manatee County Public Safety Department started a new awareness campaign to make sure residents are aware of current evacuation levels.

Storm surge happens when hurricane force winds push the sea water in one direction and based on where you live, your risks may have increased. Emergency Management Chief Sherilyn Burris says there is an updated map.

“So you’ll notice a lot of the red areas are areas closest to the Gulf of Mexico and their usually the lowest line just because they are in contact with that water. When the storm surge comes ashore, they are first and closest and the lowest, so they are going to be at the highest risk for storm surge, says Burris.

She says storm surge flooding can reach as high as 33 feet and it’s hard to predict.

“The trouble with predicting storm surge is it’s kind of dependent on the size of the storm, where its coming from, where it’s going, how big it is, how wide it is, how fast it’s going so it’s kind of hard to predict,” says Burris.

If your house is not in the colored levels you can remain there, but there’s one exception.

“The key is though, if you live in a mobile home, a manufactured home or you stay in a recreational vehicle. It doesn’t matter what zone you live in, you’ll have to evacuate no matter what,” says Burris.

Burris says the information is easy to access.

“We have an interactive map, sometimes maps are hard to see where your house is, so the interactive map online, you just punch in your address it will bring up where you live it will tell you your hurricane evacuation level there.”

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