Hurricanes on the Outer Banks are a common occurrence. Hurricane season officially begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th each year. Because of our unique location, Resort Realty wants you to be informed and ready in the event that a hurricane passes by. Whether you’re a visitor or a year-round resident, here’s all the info you need.
When do hurricanes occur?
Hurricane season lasts from June 1st until November 30th each year. There have been instances where storms formed in May and December; however, this is rare.
Where do hurricanes occur?
Hurricanes can form almost anywhere in the Tropical Atlantic Basin from the West Coast of Africa near the Cape Verde Islands, to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. There are several prime areas where development can occur depending on the time of year and necessary environmental conditions.
What is the eye of a hurricane?
The small area of clear weather in the center of the hurricane; calm winds and sunny skies appear but the storm isn’t over.
Why are hurricanes and tropical storms named?
It makes it easier for people in the affected area to recognize, remember, and understand what’s going on.
What’s the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning?
A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hours.
A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the next 24 hours.
When you book your vacation with Resort Realty, vacation rental insurance and Trip Preserver protection are automatically included in your fee. If you wish to opt out, you can call our office before you sign your lease, but with the location of the Outer Banks and the probability of storms during hurricane season, we highly recommend you keep this service.
Resort Realty will not offer any rebate in the event of a mandatory or ordered evacuation by Dare or Currituck County Emergency Management Control Group. Trip Preserver insurance with Red Sky will cover your trip if it’s canceled due to a hurricane, sickness, injury, and more.
Visit their website here to view their policy more in depth.
Hurricane Preparedness For Guests
When tropical storms/hurricanes threaten the Outer Banks, it is imperative that you adhere to the instructions of Resort Realty and local authorities. If/when necessary, guests will be notified by Resort Realty as to what they should do during a storm event.
In the event of a hurricane, Resort Realty advises all guests of the following:
- When a hurricane watch is issued, you should begin preparations for possible evacuation. Resort Realty will monitor the storm along with local authorities and the National Hurricane Center. When the probability of a hit to the Outer Banks becomes likely, Dare and/or Currituck County will issue a MANDATORY EVACUATION. Evacuation is required whenever a mandatory evacuation is issued by Dare or Currituck County officials. You should pack all belongings, including food, and evacuate immediately. Neither Resort Realty nor the vacation rental homeowner will be responsible for any items you may leave behind.
- Plan your evacuation route.
- Upon leaving the Outer Banks, you may either stay inland at a hotel/motel or return home. After the storm passes, you may call our office or local authorities to see if you can return. If so, we are glad to have you come back and enjoy the rest of your vacation.
Our Hurricane Policy
There will be NO REFUNDS OR CREDITS FOR HURRICANE EVACUATIONS.* On the Outer Banks, the threat of a hurricane is always present during certain months of the year, and we all assume this risk by living or vacationing here. Therefore, we suggest you consider Trip Insurance to secure your vacation investment and eliminate your financial risk.
According to the North Carolina Vacation Rental Act, in the event of a mandatory evacuation, “The tenant shall not be entitled to a refund if: i.e. prior to the Tenant taking possession of the property, the Tenant refused insurance offered by the landlord or real estate broker that would have compensated him or her for losses or damages resulting in loss of use of the property due to a mandatory evacuation order; or i.e. the Tenant purchased insurance offered by the landlord or real estate broker.” This means that no refunds will be given either by Resort Realty or the homeowner if you either buy or refuse to buy insurance.
*Resort Realty will not offer a refund should a mandatory evacuation is issued. Trip Cancellation insurance is highly recommended as it covers medical emergencies, as well as storm evacuations. You can learn more here or see Travel Insurance below.
If evacuation is a possibility be prepared and know your evacuation route either back home or to a hotel inland. If Dare and/or Currituck County issues a mandatory evacuation, make sure all your belongings are packed and have a supply kit ready in your vehicle. The quicker you can get on the road, the less traffic there will be and you can find a closer, inland place to stay.
- If you’re evacuating from Hatteras, Nags Head, or Roanoke Island use Highway 64/264 West which intersects I-95, giving you the option to travel north or south with less congestion and traffic lights.
- If you’re evacuating from Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores or any of the Northern Beaches, make your way to Highway 158 then either continue North on Highway 158 or South on 158 then West on Highway 64.
- For updated information on road conditions, visit the North Carolina Department of Transportation website here.
Note: If you’re staying in Corolla and north, you’re in Currituck County. If you’re staying in Duck and south, you’re in Dare County.
Prepare a Hurricane Kit
- Make sure you have a kit with a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies in your car handy. Ready.gov has a great list you can look at here.
- Before you evacuate double check and make sure you have any prescribed medications, extra bedding/pillows, keys, and enough gas.
If You Couldn’t Evacuate
If it’s absolutely too late for you to evacuate, stay indoors. Stay away from windows just in case they get broken from flying debris. Make sure you have the above supplies along with plenty of bottled water and food that doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Make sure your cell phone is charged just in case there is a power outage and contact family/friends and let them know you couldn’t evacuate.
During A Hurricane:
- Stay inside and use flashlights if the power goes out.
- Don’t use candles.
- Avoid contact with flood water because it may be contaminated with sewage or an electrical current.
- Don’t walk, swim, or drive through flood water and don’t go out and explore on the beach.
After A Hurricane:
- Let your friends and family know you’re safe with a quick call, text, or post on social media.
- If you did evacuate, only return when authorities say it’s safe to do so.
- Take pictures of your property if there was any damage in order to help with filing an insurance claim.
Re-Entry Stages for Returning to the Outer Banks:
Re-entry to Dare County happens in four different priority stages:
- Priority 1: Essential Personnel
Includes government, medical, damage assessment personnel, etc.
- Priority 2: Permanent Residents & Essential Personnel for Critical Businesses
Permanent Residents will be allowed reentry with a valid NC drivers license with a local address or a current Dare County property text receipt.
- Priority 3: Non-Resident Property Owners and Non-Resident Employees of Non-Critical Businesses.
Re-entry permits are mailed to non-resident property owners.
- Priority 4: General Public and Visitors