Gauging the Danger

County Safety Status: Red, yellow and green conditions

Hurricanes and other natural disasters can create widespread damage, leaving debris, downed trees, flooding, live power lines on the ground and damaged buildings.

Immediately following such disaster, many departments (including law enforcement, fire, emergency management and public works) respond to assess damage and help citizens. Communicating the level of damage and potential danger is imperative as citizens’ safety is our number one concern. Sarasota County utilizes a color-coded system (RED, YELLOW, GREEN) to indicate the level of damage, hazards and impact to services.

These colors will be used in Sarasota County’s emergency public communications to represent the safety status of the county. Heavily impacted areas where damage is extensive and services are limited will require the RED status.

As in Hurricane Irma, impacts to power, traffic lights, and downed trees may require larger areas of YELLOW; meaning take caution, be vigilant and careful when out on the roads. Finally, as power is restored, roads cleared, and traffic lights become operable, citizens will see the GREEN or all-clear status.


Level of Danger: Unsafe. Emergency services may not be available. Extensive damage limiting travel.

Citizen Action: Access may not be allowed, or limited, according to authorities having jurisdiction. If access is allowed, proper ID is required. Enter at your own risk.


Level of Danger: Limiting factors to include lack of power, trees and power lines down in areas.Traffic lights may be out. Potential damage to utilities such as water systems and wastewater.

Citizen Action: Safety precautions required. General travel limited to essential needs.


Level of Danger: No limiting factors.

Citizen Action: All clear. Safe for general public.


Helpful Websites

National Weather Service


American Red Cross (Southwest Florida Chapter)

Florida Division of Emergency Management

National Hurricane Center

Florida Power & Light (FPL) Sarasota County Sheriff's Office
City of Venice  City of North Port 
City of Sarasota  Town of Longboat Key