Florida’s 511 Traveler Information System is one of the most effective ways drivers can keep informed about roadway conditions during severe weather, evacuations and emergencies.
SERT and Emergency Planning
FDOT is a member of the State Emergency Response Team (SERT). For more information on SERT and to make a plan for your home, family or business during a disaster, visit http://www.floridadisaster.org/.
511 Emergency Information
When hurricanes, severe weather, wildfires and other emergencies threaten Florida, a free phone call to 511 provides evacuation and emergency travel information. Callers will get important information regarding affected counties, cities, roadways and agencies.
511 is a valuable tool providing real-time, locally generated reports regarding:
- Major evacuation routes, road and bridge closures and toll suspensions
- AMBER, Silver and LEO alerts
- Traffic information on interstates; toll roads, including Florida’s Turnpike; and many other major roadways
- Traffic cameras and personalized services
Tips for Using 511 in an Emergency
- Call 511 for up-to-the-minute reports on major evacuation routes, bridge and road closures due to hazardous conditions and roadways with toll suspensions
- Sign up for free My Florida 511 personalized services to preprogram several evacuation routes. When an evacuation is called for, assess road conditions and congestion along each route to select the best one
- Visit FL511.com to view regularly updated camera images of major highways and bridges that may be affected by severe weather
Driving in Low-Visibility
Wildfires, smoke, fog and heavy rain can all lower visibility on the roads. It is important for drivers to drive as safely as possible in these conditions. The Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) give these tips for driving in low visibility conditions:
SERT and Emergency Planning
- Call 511 — Call 511 to get up-to-the-minute reports on roadway conditions, including emergency evacuation and toll-suspension information
- Slow Down — Fog and smoke create a visual illusion of slow motion for the driver and reduce visibility. Most fog or smoke related crashes result
from unsafe speeds.
- Stay Alert — Watch
out for slow-moving or stopped vehicles.
Distractions — Turn off the radio and cell phones while driving through
smoke and fog. Your full attention is required.
- Use Appropriate
Lighting — Use low beam headlights or fog lights. Do not use your car’s
high beam headlights, which can reflect off fog or smoke. Hazard (flashing) lights should only be
used while parked.
- Be Patient — Avoid
passing or changing lanes unless absolutely necessary.
- Do Not Stop — Unless
absolutely necessary, do not stop on a freeway or other heavily traveled
roads. If you must stop, signal early and move as far off the road as
possible. Once stopped, turn on your hazard lights, exit the vehicle and
move as far away as possible.