Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown has officially released the city's first updated evacuation map since 2005.
The release was made at a press conference Wednesday at the city's Emergency Operations Center in conjunction with the announcement of a partnership with Winn-Dixie supermarkets officials say will make it easier for residents to prepare for severe storms.
The map will be published in 2014-15 JaxReady Emergency Preparedness Guide, released in advance of the start of the 2014 hurricane season on June 1.
The new map shows evacuation zones labeled from A through F, with A representing the areas that would experience the harshest impact from severe weather, and F being those that would suffer minimal damage.
Previous evacuation maps and routes were based around the areas of the projected path of hurricane or severe storm, said Duval County Emergency Management Director Steve Woodard.
“New scientific data that includes other factors such as storm surge, precipitation and areas that we know are prone to flooding, has allowed us to better define the evacuation zones for Duval County,” Woodard said.
One of the messages that Mayor Brown and his office stressed is that the purpose of the maps and plans are to find the quickest and safest way to an open shelter.
Officials are also depending on Jacksonville’s citizens to spread the word about the new evacuation maps and determine which evacuation zone corresponds with their residences.
The mayor’s office used $7,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds, along with $20,000 donated by Winn-Dixie, to help distribute 400,000 JaxReady preparedness guides, said mayoral Director of Communication David DeCamp.
The guide includes instructions on what items should be included in an emergency kit, such as bottled water, medicine, canned food and a first-aid kit.
Printed versions of the guides, including the updated evacuation maps and evacuation routes, can be found in Jacksonville-area Winn-Dixie stores and government buildings.
CLICK: See a searchable map of Jacksonville's new evacuation zones at JaxReady.org
You can follow Carter Roush on Twitter @carterroush.