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FEATURE: Sept. 7 - 12:30 a.m. - Chatham County has New Evacuation Terminology and New Evacuation Zones

Category: Local Govts & Politics

PHOTO:  The new evacuation zones for a proposed orderly evacuation of Chatham County to reduce traffic gridlock. 

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

Sept. 7, 2017 - With the likelihood increasing that there will be a call for at least a voluntary evacuation for areas of Chatham County, it's time to become familiar with the county's new evacuation zones.

After Hurricane Matthew, there was a need for greater understanding and preparation to ensure the safe and effective evacuation of Chatham County during a hurricane or tropical storm, according to Chatham Emergency Management (CEMA),

"To better prepare for the 2017 hurricane season, we are encouraging residents to learn the terminology that County officials will be using during an evacuation. "Knowing the difference between an evacuation and mandatory evacuation orders will significantly affect how communities and residents will react and prepare for the threat of a hurricane," states CEMA.

An Evacuation Order will be issued when local officials feel it may be in your best interest to evacuate the targeted area. An Evacuation Order is a general statement used to encourage residents to evacuate. 

Mandatory Evacuation Order is an executive directive requiring all residents, visitors, businesses and others in the target area to evacuate. Personal discretion is not an option. 

In addition, Chatham County has constructed new evacuation zones to ensure an efficient exit for all communities that are in the target area. These zones are shown above.

These zones are clear boundaries that are already established in Chatham County. Residents are familiar with these landmarks and should be able to easily identify which zone they live and work in, states CEMA. 

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