Hurricane/Storm Safety

Hurricane season sign

It just takes one storm, be prepared!

Hurricanes are among nature's most powerful and destructive phenomena. They can pose a great threat to life and property. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 of each year.

Know what actions to take before the hurricane season begins, when a hurricane approaches, and when the storm is in your area, as well as what to do after a hurricane leaves your area.

Don't judge the severity of a storm based on the category. The category of the storm (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) is based on wind speed and does not account for the deadliest impacts: storm surge and flooding.

Contact Us

  1. Questions? Contact Us

    Emergency Management Director

    Fire Chief Troy Tilley


    Public Information Officer

    Rachel Tackett



    Protection through Preparedness

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  • Storm Surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. Storm surge can reach heights well over 20 feet and can span hundreds of miles of coastline.
  • Storm Tide is the water level rise during a storm due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide.

The destructive power of storm surge and large battering waves can result in loss of life, buildings destroyed, beach and dune erosion and road and bridge damage along the coast.Storm surge - run from water, hide from wind.


  • Heavy Rainfall & Inland Flooding - Hurricanes often produce widespread, torrential rain, which may result in deadly and destructive floods. Floods can develop slowly or quickly and flash floods can come with no warning.Flash Flood Safety Tips

  • High WindsHurricane Categories


  • Rip Currents - The strong winds of a tropical cyclone can cause dangerous waves that pose a significant hazard to mariners and coastal residents and visitors. When the waves break along the coast, they can produce deadly rip currents - even at large distances from the storm. Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore, usually extending past the line of breaking waves, that can pull even the strongest swimmers away from shoreRip current safety information

  • Tornadoes - Hurricanes and tropical storms can also produce tornadoes. These tornadoes most often occur in thunderstorms embedded in rain bands well away from the center of the hurricane; however, they can also occur near the eyewall.Tornado Terminology

Pages from 2021DareCountyHurricaneGui


Dare County Hurricane Guide 

Click above to view/download the Dare County Hurricane Guide

Know Your Evacuation Zone

Municipality: Kill Devil Hills

Your Zone is: B

When a storm is approaching, the Dare County Senior Leaders determines the need for evacuations to ensure public safety. After considering a storm's intensity, path, and speed, along life-threatening impacts being forecast by the National Weather Service, the Senior Leaders determines which zones to evacuate and when to start.

The Town of Kill Devil Hills is in Zone B.

When evacuations are needed a local State of Emergency will be declared and shared with the public via all means possible. The State of Emergency will clearly state which zones are under a mandatory evacuation order. The order will also provide a geographic description of the area being evacuated to include village and/or town names. Residents and visitors need to listen for their zone and the instructions that follow. Everyone should have an evacuation plan in place and disaster supplies on hand so that they can take immediate action and evacuate to ensure their personal safety. Inland shelter locations will be made available at These locations may require travel to a different region of the state.

Dare County - Know Your Evacuation Zone

Evacuation & Reentry

Figure out where you’d go and how you’d get there if told to evacuate. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles. Identify someone, perhaps a friend or relative who doesn’t live in an evacuation zone or unsafe home, and coordinate with them to use their home as your evacuation destination.

If local officials ask you to evacuate, that means your pet should evacuate too. If you leave your pets behind, they may end up lost, injured or worse.

Evacuation sign

Following an evacuation, reentry may be restricted. If necessary, a staged reentry process will be used by the Dare County Senior Leaders to facilitate an orderly reentry. No one will be denied entry with proper identification.

Proper identification includes:

  • Reentry Permit - To apply for a reentry permit, visit (Dare County's reentry information site). (Please Note: No reentry permits will be issued within 72 hours of expected landfall of a storm on the Outer Banks. Reentry permits from previous years will not be accepted.) 
  • Driver’s License with Dare County Address
  • Current Tax Bill or Parcel Data Sheet with matching current government issued id

To print/view a property tax bill or parcel data sheet, visit (Dare County's Geographical Information System Department). Search for owner’s name, address, tax parcel number, street name, or subdivision. Once you have selected a property, click the tax bill icon or the parcel data sheet icon to view/print.

The Town of Kill Devil Hills DOES NOT issue reentry permits. They are issued by Dare County.

Visit (Dare County's reentry information site) to apply for a reentry permit. Once your application has been approved by Dare County, it will be delivered as Adobe PDF file attached to an email from

If you complete the application and do not receive a response from, please be sure to check your spam/junk mail folder. If unable to print your permit, have it readily available for display on your mobile device. For any questions/issues contact Dare County Emergency Management at 252.475.5655. All permits expire at the end of the calendar year.

Reentry Stages

Residents & Nonresident Property Owners: Keep your driver’s license with a Dare County address or Dare County property tax bill or parcel data sheet and corresponding identification with you during a staged reentry. You may encounter checkpoints in various locations across Dare County.

Business Owners: At the beginning of every hurricane season, ensure your employees have the proper reentry credentials.

Visitors: Any plans to visit the Outer Banks should be confirmed before traveling to the area. All accommodations must be assessed for safety before you will be allowed access. Don’t risk coming and having to turn around once arriving. Contact your accommodations provider before leaving on your trip to verify your property or room is available

Why are there reentry delays?

  • Polluted water
  • Severe flooding
  • Limited communications
  • No electricity/phone
  • Septic tanks backed up and flooding
  • Structures undermined
  • Trees & limbs on roads
  • Damage to personal property
  • Lack of infrastructure to support population
Have an evacuation plan in place
How will I know when I can come back to the Outer Banks? Reentry after a storm may be restricted. Reentry will be announced as soon as the extent of damage to the county can be determined. Public safety is the utmost concern at this time. It may be several hours or many weeks. The Dare County Senior Leaders, after reviewing damage assessment reports, will determine when it is safe to return. They will broadcast what areas will be open and who will be allowed to return (if using a staged reentry process).
Why do residents get to come back before non-resident property owners? Residents are granted reentry when areas are deemed safe, allowing the recovery process to begin before returning to work. While an area may be deemed safe, there is potential that normal services have not yet been fully restored. Those returning may need to be self-sustaining. Utility and communication services may still be disrupted and/or unavailable. Law enforcement, fire, rescue, emergency medical, and other government service delivery may be delayed. There may be curfews, prohibitions and other protective measures still in place to ensure public safety.
Non-residents are granted reentry when areas are deemed safe and normal services have been restored and able to support the return of non-resident property owners and non-resident employees of non-critical businesses so that they can begin the recovery process. There may be curfews, prohibitions, and other protective measures still in place to ensure public safety.

We have a vacation planned, will everything be okay by then? Any plans to visit the Outer Banks should be confirmed before traveling to the area. All vacation rental properties must be assessed for safety before you will be allowed access. Don't risk coming and having to turn around once arriving. Contact your rental agency or hotel/motel before leaving on your trip to verify your property or room is available.
Do you need carpenters, tree surgeons, carpet cleaners, etc. from outside the area to rebuild? After the storm damage assessment teams will do extensive review of all areas. The NC Division of Emergency Management will publish a telephone number for all those interested in providing goods and services after the storm has passed. No one should attempt to enter the storm area unless proper authorization is approved.