Understanding the National Hurricane Center's Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map

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Learn about the dangers of storm surge and how this product can help communities prepare to decrease the threat to life and property.


When deadly storms threaten our communities, there is a great deal of confusion about storm surge and the threat it poses to life and property. To better understand reasons for this confusion and provide actionable information to keep the public safe, the National Hurricane Center created the Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map. Videos and tip sheets were developed to better understand the Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map and ensure a consistent message among National Weather Service partners to help save lives during the next storm.

Three steps to prepare for storm surge:

  1. Know your zone: Contact your local emergency management agency
  2. Listen to local officials: Follow evacuation orders and other instructions from local officials
  3. Monitor the forecast: Pay attention to the local forecast, as well as any watches and warnings from the National Weather Service

A helpful note about the Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map: The National Hurricane Center releases the initial map with the first issuance of a hurricane watch or warning or for other special cases. Once live, the map changes every six hours in association with the new National Hurricane Center full advisory package. For additional information, visit the Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map. Also, check out the National Storm Surge Hazard Maps used during non-storm conditions to determine surge risk.

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