Evacuations & Causeways

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Mandatory Evacuations

If you live on a barrier island, low-lying area, or in a mobile or manufactured home, there is a good chance you will need to heed a mandatory evacuation notice in the event of a hurricane or strong tropical storm.

The reason for the mandatory evacuation is because these areas are most vulnerable during a strong storm. 

Even if you are not in a mandatory evacuation zone, you may wish to leave the area. Widespread damage and interruption of utility services are possible everywhere.

When considering whether to evacuate, do not look only at the forecast track on the map. Depending on the size of the storm the impacts may be felt for many miles beyond the track.

Please use your best judgment and do what you think will be best for you and your family. 

Barrier Island Communities

If you live east of the Indian River Lagoon, then you are on a barrier island and within the mandatory evacuation zone. Barrier island communities include Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Merritt Island, Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach. A portion of the City of Melbourne is on the barrier island as well as Patrick Air Force Base and unincorporated Brevard County.

Storm Surge

Along the coast, storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. In the past, large death tolls have resulted from the rise of the ocean associated with many of the major hurricanes that have made landfall. Barrier island communities are particularly at risk of dangerous flooding due to storm surge.

Florida Hurricane Evacuation Zone Map

If you are not sure if you live in an evacuation zone, please see the Florida Division of Emergency Management's Interactive Hurricane Evacuation Zone Map

Mobile and Manufactured Homes

Never ride out a hurricane in a mobile or manufactured home, even if it is not in an evacuation zone.

  • Mobile and manufactured homes face the largest risk of damage from high winds.
  • Florida law requires all mobile homes to be anchored. Ensure that tie-downs are secure, especially on older mobile homes or ones that have been moved.


Shelter locations and opening times are specific to each storm and will be posted on the Brevard County Emergency Management website.

Brevard County will have general population, pet-friendly, and special needs shelters available across the county.

For a list of what to bring to a shelter, see Preparing to Go to a Shelter.  

You do not need to arrive at a shelter as soon as it opens; additional shelters will open if needed. Shelters will never turn you away.

Special Needs Shelters

Registration is required for special needs shelters. Special needs shelters are specifically assigned to clients so that there are enough supplies and medical professionals to help assist caregivers. If your medical equipment requires electricity, you have serious health issues, and/or you have a caregiver, and you have no other option for safe shelter, please visit Brevard Emergency Management's Special Needs Shelter webpage for more information and to register. They may be able to assist you with finding transportation to a special needs shelter, as well.


Causeways will not be closed prior to the storm, but it unsafe to drive on the causeways in high winds (typically 45 miles per hour sustained winds).

Once the storm is over, causeways will be closed until they can be inspected and deemed safe by Florida Department of Transportation officials and beachside municipal officials deem the area to be safe. Please be prepared for it to take some time for inspectors to assess all of Brevard’s seven causeways.

The status of causeway openings will be updated by Brevard County Emergency Management on Facebook and Twitter.  You can also subscribing to text alert messages by texting Brevardeoc to 888777.