During a Hurricane

Hurricane Banner

ALLof Ocean Isle's residents are strongly urged to evacuate once a mandatory evacuation has been declared by the Mayor

Evacuation Map

If you choose to stay in your home during a hurricane, be advised that you may not have certain resources available to you in the event of an emergency.  Town Staff and emergency personnel, such as Police and/or Fire may not be able to reach you.  Also note that certain utilities may be unavailable such as water, sewer and electricity due to utility shut off or loss of power.

If choosing to stay during a hurricane, please do the following:

  • Inform family and friends that you are staying
  • Have multiple information sources (radio, television, phone, etc.)
  • Fill containers with extra water
  • Stay away from windows and glass doors
  • Don't walk, swim, or drive through flooded areas

When a State of Emergency is declared and a curfew is implemented, the curfew will be monitored and enforced by law enforcement personnel.  Violators of looting, price gouging, and alcohol sales will be prosecuted to the full extent.

Hurricane Watches & Warnings

When a HURRICANE WATCH has been issued:

  • Fuel and service vehicles
  • Load supply kit(s) for evacuation  
  • Inspect and secure mobile home tie downs
  • Prepare to cover all window and door openings with shutters or other building materials
  • Use a cell phone and take pictures and / or video of home and belongings
  • Email files to yourself so they can be accessed in the event your home is damaged by the storm
  • Ensure emergency supply kits are adequately stocked with water, food, a first aid kit, and medications that will last at least 72 hours.
  • Prepare to bring inside lawn furniture and other loose, lightweight objects, such as garbage cans, garden tools, etc.

When a HURRICANE WARNING is issued:

  • A hurricane is expected within 36 hours
  • Follow instructions issued by local officials
  • Leave immediately if an evacuation is called
  • Closely monitor radio, television, or NOAA Weather Radio for official bulletins AND sign up to receive updates from Town of Ocean Isle at E-Notifications AND CodeRED
  • Complete preparation activities, including securing window and door openings, storing all loose outside objects, etc.
  • Leave mobile homes in any case
  • Store valuables and personal papers in watertight containers in a high spot
  • If an evacuation is called, take valuables and personal with you if possible

Wind Speeds & Storm Surge

Hurricane strength is classified through 5 Wind Speed Categories, measured in Miles Per Hour (MPH):

  • Category 1 (74-95 MPH):  Very dangerous winds can produce minor damage to property, shrubbery, trees, and unanchored mobile homes
  • Category 2 (96-110 MPH):  Extremely dangerous winds will cause constructed frame homes to sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallow rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block roads.  Serious flooding at the coast.
  • Category 3 (111-129 MPH):  Devastating damage will occur, including large trees blown down, serious flooding at the coast, with many small structures near the coast destroyed. Electricity and water may be unavailable.
  • Category 4 (130-156 MPH):  Catastrophic damage will occur.  Shrubs and trees blown down. Extensive damage to roofing materials, windows, and doors; and complete failure of roofs on many small residences.
  • Category 5 (157+ MPH):  Catastrophic damage will occur.  A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas.

Storm Surge

Storm Surge is the abnormal rise in seawater level during a storm, measured as the height of the water above the normal predicted astronomical tide. The surge is caused primarily by a storm's winds pushing water onshore.  Surges are often the greatest threat to life and property during a coastal storm. The destructive power of a storm surge and large battering waves can result in loss of life, buildings destroyed, beach and dune erosion and road / bridge damage along the coast.

Storm Surge notifications are divided into two categories:  

  • Storm Surge Watch: Possible Life-Threatening Flooding Within 48 hours

  • Storm Surge Warning: Danger of Life-Threatening Flooding Within 36 hours
The Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map is an interactive map, provided by, which highlights geographic locations where flooding from storm surge could occur.  It provides the potential height above ground the water could reach.  To view the Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map, CLICK HERE.