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What to Know About Hurricane Evacuations in the Keys

Being a resident of the Florida Keys means living in paradise! But, it also means living several months of the year through hurricane season. Seasoned residents know what to expect, and know that being prepared before a storm is approaching is key. If you are new to the Florida Keys or are looking to purchase a home for sale in the Florida Keys for the first time, it is important that you understand how hurricane evacuations work in the Keys before the storm is approaching.

Hurricane evacuations in the Florida Keys operate in a phased capacity organized by what mile marker your home lies on. Residents and homeowners must know your zone when it comes to evacuation. Please keep in mind that your evacuation zone is different than your re-entry zone. While re-entry is primarily by Upper Keys, Middle Keys, Lower Keys and Key West, evacuation is by mile marker. Evacuation Zones are as follows:

  • Zone 1: Mile Marker 0 - Mile Marker 6
  • Zone 2: Mile Marker 6 - Mile Marker 40
  • Zone 3: Mile Marker 40 - Mile Marker 63
  • Zone 4: Mile Marker 63 through CR 905-A (at the three-way stop)
  • Zone 5: CR 905-A through Mainland Monroe County (including Ocean Reef)

Once you know your zone, check out the route. There is really only one road in and out of the Keys, but map the evacuation route you will take and have a pre-planned destination in mind. Roads will be jammed, especially as the storm gets closer, so plan how far in advance you will leave and be ready. Keep supplies packed all season to minimize your prep time. Get gas early and consider downloading the Gas Buddy App on your phone to find stations that still have gas while on the road.

Before you leave, prepare your home as best you can. Put up your shutters, remove outside furniture, get as much as you can as high as you can in case of flooding (especially if you own a house in the Keys near the water), take pictures of your property, and secure your important documents.

Do not forget your Monroe County re-entry stickers before you evacuate! You do not want to be unable to return home after the storm!

Re-entry after a hurricane evacuation will be allowed by zones according to when certain areas become habitable so keep an eye on the news to know when you can go home!


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