TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Understanding the meaning of evacuation zones is crucial to making it through a hurricane.

“So expect heavy rains, strong winds, flash flooding, storm surge and even isolated tornadoes,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis during a Sept. 25 briefing.

Signs around the Tampa Bay area show how high storm surge can get — up to at least 15 feet. Even getting on a six or seven foot ladder doesn’t put the average person at the same height as the sign.

“Anticipate in certain areas of the state, if you are in a vulnerable area,” Governor DeSantis said, “There may even be evacuations that are issued.”

Storm surge can be one of the most dangerous effects of storms, swallowing the first floor of buildings in low-lying areas.

If you want to find out if you live in an evacuation zone, or locate the nearest zone, you can do so here.

The most at-risk are low-lying areas in red on the maps, called “Zone A.” They’ll be evacuated first, followed by orange areas, then yellow, and so on.

“I encourage all Floridians to not only continue these preparedness efforts,” said Kevin Guthrie. “But also take the time to know their zone and their home.”

Guthrie is the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

“If your home address is not one of the labeled colors, you do not live in an evacuation zone,” Guthrie explained. “Therefore, you need to know your home.”

Knowing your home involves assessing its risk for storm surge or winds.

“If you’re in a manufactured home, low-lying area, or some other structure that cannot sustain winds, you will need to evacuate when your local emergency manager asks you to do so,” Guthrie said.

If you don’t live in one of the evacuation zones and your residence can sustain winds and storm surge, you can choose to shelter in place. Just know you may lose power for multiple days.