Hurricanes are powerful tropical weather systems with winds of 74 miles per hour or higher. North Carolina is especially vulnerable to direct hurricane strikes because the coastline extends out into the ocean. Heavy winds, tornadoes, flooding, and storm surges can all be caused by hurricanes, causing billions of dollars in damage.

All hurricanes should be taken very seriously regardless of the category. Although categories of hurricanes are determined by wind speed, most damage occurs from flooding so wind speed alone does not determine the severity of a hurricane. Hurricane Florence, which made landfall in Wrightsville Beach in 2018 as a category one hurricane, caused $24 billion in damages; more than the cost of Hurricane Matthew (2016) and Hurricane Floyd (1999) combined.

Hurricane SeasonHurricane Season is from June 1 to November 30 with peak season from mid-August to late October. Prepare your family and property before disaster strikes.

If New Hanover County's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is activated due to a hurricane or other emergency event, emergency information and instructions will be provided.

ReadyNHC: Make a Plan, Build a Kit, Stay Informed

  1. Hurricane Categories
  • Tropical Depression – winds up to 39 miles per hour (mph)
  • Tropical Storm – 39 to 73 mph winds
  • Category 1 – 74 to  95 mph winds
  • Category 2 – 96 to  110 mph winds
  • Category 3 – 111 to  129 mph winds
  • Category 4 – 130 to  156 mph winds
  • Category 5 – winds of 157 mph or greater
  1. What Should I Do if There's a Hurricane Warning?
  1. Staying Safe during a Hurricane
  1. Staying Safe after a Hurricane