Are You in the Zone?

Hurricane preparedness may be the last thing on your mind when enjoying an Orange Crush at the beach, but did you know that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an 85% chance of an above-average hurricane season? Delaware has had its share of major disasters from tropical systems. Consider that:

Hurricane Ida
Heavy rainfall from the remnants of the storm caused massive flooding in northeast Wilmington.

Tropical Storm Isaias
unleashed a record-breaking tornado that damaged properties and tracked 29.2 miles between Dover and Middletown.

Superstorm Sandy
An extratropical system, was originally forecasted to make landfall at Lewes! The storm generated evacuations and a storm surge of 5.06 feet above the predicted tide in coastal Delaware, leading to widespread flooding and property damage.

Hurricane Irene
brought heavy rain, a tornado to Lewes, and widespread power outages. Two fatalities are attributed to the storm.

If a hurricane were to track up the Delmarva coast, our visitors and residents would end up sharing crowded evacuation routes with Marylanders and Virginians who will have a head start. To support an orderly evacuation, Delaware established evacuation zones in low-lying areas that are susceptible to storm surge and wind effects. Authorities may issue evacuation notices for all or some of these zones, depending on the magnitude and severity of the storm. They may also advise certain locations to shelter in place. Don’t let your summer go by without developing a plan:

  • Know Your Zone: look up your address to find out if you are in an evacuation zone:
  • Sign up for the Delaware Emergency Notification System through
  • Reschedule your Delaware vacation plans if a tropical storm or hurricane watch may be issued.
  • Create supply kits and plans for sheltering in place and evacuating. Use public shelters as a last resort.
  • Develop plans for pets and individuals with functional, access, or medical needs. Reach out to neighbors who might need assistance with their planning.
  • Always heed evacuation and sheltering in place instructions.
  • Visit and for more tips.

Danielle is a certified climate change professional with Delaware Sea Grant (  Delaware Sea Grant utilizes research, education, and extension work in support of resilient communities, economies, and coastal resources.  Danielle provides technical assistance and outreach to communities on emergency preparedness and building resilience to weather and climate hazards.  She is co-founder of the Resilient and Sustainable Communities League (RASCL – and loves hiking the Gordons Pond Trail in Cape Henlopen State Park. 

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