Severe Weather

Hurricane weather graphics over satellite image of Florida

Be Prepared and Stay Informed

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) is committed to helping our customers prepare for hurricanes and other severe weather. The information below has been prepared to help you understand what JTA services are available to you and your family in the event of severe weather or a city-ordered evacuation due to a hurricane emergency.

Understanding the evacuation services that will be available will help you PLAN NOW for the best option for you and your family members. This guide is specific to hurricanes, however the same information will apply to any other ordered evacuation. 

In addition to familiarizing yourself with the information below and creating your evacuation plan, be sure to download these two free apps:

Copies of our Hurricane Preparedness Guide can also be found below. 

Evacuation To Public Shelters

If an evacuation order is issued for your neighborhood and you cannot leave the area, JTA will provide free transportation to open public shelters only. During an evacuation order and depending on where you live in Jacksonville, there are two ways to use JTA services:

Using either option, you will be taken to a transfer center where you will change buses and then be transported to a public shelter.

If You Have Special Medical Needs

  • When an evacuation order is issued, JTA will provide transportation for residents with special medical needs to a designated shelter.
  • Pre-registration with the city is required every year for special needs evacuation. Registration DOES NOT carry over from year to year.
  • Please call the City of Jacksonville Division of Emergency Preparedness at (904) 255-3172 or visit the Special Medical Needs Registration web page. Once registered, JTA can transport customers to designated special medical needs public shelters.

Key Points to Know

  • Please be patient. Transport and transfer during a hurricane evacuation may take several hours.
  • Private vehicles with family and friends are always the quickest and easiest alternative for evacuating.
  • In an emergency, customers using JTA public transportation cannot choose their shelter destination.
  • JTA will only transport Emergency Operations Center designated household pets. Only the following household pets are allowed at shelters: dogs, cats, rodents (such as hamsters, gerbils, etc.) birds and rabbits.
  • Animals must be cared for by their owners when in pet-friendly shelters.
  • For more information, please contact the City of Jacksonville at (904) 630-CITY (2489).

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

  • The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane's sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures. 

    Illustrated Depiction of Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
    • Category 1: Minimal Damage (74-95 mph)
    • Category 2: Moderate Damage (96-110 mph)
    • Category 3: Extensive Damage (111-129 mph)
    • Category 4: Extreme Damage (130-156 mph)
    • Category 5: Catastrophic Damage (157+ mph)

Service Changes

For everyone's safety, the JTA must discontinue all transportation modes and services before the arrival of a storm's effects. Services will be shut down when either:

  • Directed by the COJ Emergency Operations Center
  • Sustained winds hit 35 mph
  • Other dangerous conditions exist that impact operational safety

Areas NOT Serviced by JTA Routes

If there is no JTA bus service in your area to help with evacuation before a hurricane, call (904) 630-CITY or (904) 630-2489 to receive instructions on evacuating.

Special service will be available and staff will help you identify your options.

In Summary

Please remember, it is best to make plans ahead of time and stay with friends or family members outside of the evacuation zone.

Public shelters are available as a last resort for any residents.

During an evacuation order, public shelters will be announced and opened by city emergency officials only.

Questions? Need Help?

Call our Customer Service team at (904) 630-3100; TTY (904) 630-3191.

  • Monday through Friday — 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Closed Sunday and holidays

Hurricane Preparedness Guide (English)

Hurricane Preparedness Guide (Spanish)