Carteret County hurricane information in NC focusing on storm updates and alerts, preparations, evacuation orders, disaster recovery efforts, and education. This article will be updated hourly when there are active tropical systems threatening the communities of Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path, Beaufort, Morehead City, and areas down east in Harkers Island and Marshallberg.
This website is NOT operated and maintained by any county government agency or emergency management agency.
Readers are encouraged to share this article on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter so that others residents in the county can learn about this information and get updates.
Additionally, we encourage readers to use the discussion form below to ask questions or relay hurricane related information to us and our readers.
- Current storms: None
Carteret County Preparations
- If evacuation orders are given by county emergency management officials, then we strongly encourage you to evacuate. It is important to note that if county and state officials order an evacuation, there will be no open shelters in those areas. Once winds reach a certain wind speed, or until winds subside, there will be no EMS services or law enforcement response to you. Even if no mandatory or suggested orders are given, families with young children or elderly should leave regardless of a storm’s category status.
- Maintain a month supply of non-perishable foods, water, hurricane lamps and oil, batteries, candles, toilet paper, pet food, flashlights, baby food, diapers, and other absolute needs. It should also be noted that about a week before a hurricane or tropical system is forecasted to impact Carteret County, stores run out of these items. We recommend buying these items before hurricane season.
- While it is not absolutely necessary, save money each month and buy a generator and have enough gas on hand for a month’s worth of use.
- Fill all cars with gas. Again, about a week before a storm could impact the area, gas becomes very hard to find and will be even harder to find for many weeks after a storm.
- Have as much cash on hand as you can possibly get. As many residents discovered after Hurricane Florence, some stores will open very soon after impact but they will only accept cash.
- If you are a family member is medically vulnerable, leave the area even if there is no mandatory evacuation. This is especially crucial for patients that have medical devices that require electricity or for patients that are medically compromised.
- About a week before a storm could impact Carteret County, talk with your medical provider and local pharmacist about getting your medications refilled with a 3 month supply.
- Please do not abandon your pets during a tropical system or hurricane whether you evacuate or not. Spend some time on social media and alert others to your needs and we can assure you that help for family pets will be offered. Or, talk with your local veterinarian about your needs and concerns.
- Clear your yard, and encourage your neighbor, to clear their lawns, decks, and sheds of anything that could become airborne. This includes garbage cans, hanging plants, and bicycles.
- Fill your bathtub with water in case water pressure is lost and you need to flush your toilet.
- Turn your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings about a week before a tropical system or hurricane and limit opening the doors. This will give you about an extra 2 days before foods spoil.
- If you are reading this while there is an active storm threatening the area, we understand you likely can not accomplish this but for future storms consider measuring ALL windows in your home and buying plywood that you can apply to windows from the outside when storms affect the area.
- Once you lose electricity, turn all switches on your circuit breaker to OFF to prevent power surges when electricity is restored.
- Inspect trees on your property and if there are any with apparent weakened limbs consider cutting them down.
- Please see our hurricane education section below for more information.
- Carteret County Evacuations
- Carteret County Disaster Recovery and Public Assistance
During NC hurricanes and tropical systems, it is important to note that many times smartphone data service is still functioning during and after storms.
This section will be dedicated to alerting readers to area disaster recovery and public assistance offerings and needs immediately after a hurricane or tropical system has passed. When there is an active storm, we will publish a form in this section that residents can use to contact us and report information like where free ice, food, and other needs are being given out.
This section is also open to information about emergency temporary housing being offered in the area along with needs for emergency housing.
Anything relating to immediate disaster recovery, public assistance, and education will be maintained hourly when there is an active hurricane or tropical storm.
- Hurricane Education
Flash flooding and storm surge is the single biggest killer in a hurricane or tropical system
If you live on the water, or in a known flood area, then we encourage you to evacuate for any tropical system that threatens Morehead City, Beaufort, Newport, and Cape Carteret. As we discovered during Hurricane Florence, a storm with just Category 1 status can cause deadly storm surge and flooding especially if the system stalls or lingers over the area.
If you live in down east communities such as Harkers Island and Marshallberg, or on Bogue Banks communities such as Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, Salter Path, or Emerald Isle, then storm surge and flash flooding is especially dangerous and deadly. This is typically why mandatory evacuation orders are given in these areas regarding of a storm’s category status.
Second to flash flooding and storm surge, people being killed by falling trees on their home or while outside during a storm is something you need to consider when not evacuating. If you live in a home with large trees surrounding your home, then you need to consider leaving or staying with others.
Do not under any circumstances stay in a mobile home in any tropical system.
If you encounter downed power lines before AND after a storm, do not make the mistake of assuming that they are not still capable of carrying electricity.
Regarding social media accounts of storm enthusiast, sites that have computer models, and hurricane commentary, please do not make decisions on preparation based on those sites. These sites are great for learning, but do not make a decision to not leave or not prepare based on speculation.
The single best source for tracking tropical storms and systems is the National Hurricane Center website which is updated every 4-6 hours with competent forecast.
The single best information about disaster recovery and public assistance after a storm is your local emergency management authority.
Hurricane Dorian preparation in 2019