The threat of severe weather, or man-made catastrophe, may force local government officials to issue evacuation orders. These orders are not issued casually or indiscriminately. Officials realize that evacuation orders cause serious disruptions in the normal daily activities of our citizens. But, officials also realize that a significant portion of our citizens live in areas that are vulnerable to the effects of severe weather and relocating to safer areas may mean the difference between life and death. The purpose of an evacuation order is to emphasize to the public that a potential dangerous situation is developing and to encourage citizens to take actions necessary to minimize the potential danger.

Control Group

In Carteret County evacuation orders related to hurricanes are issued by a group of local officials called the Control Group. The Control Group consists of the mayor of each Carteret County municipality and the chairman of the Carteret County Board of Commissioners. When the potential for hurricane effects exists in any part of Carteret County, the Control Group meets and determines the need for an evacuation. The Control Group receives information from expert sources such as the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center to aid in the evacuation decision. Representatives from the Red Cross, Carteret County Schools, NC Highway Patrol, and emergency management also provide information to the Control Group.

Evacuation Orders

Evacuation orders are generally applied to the following areas of Carteret County: Bogue Banks, property adjacent to waterways, low lying or flood prone areas, and mobile home dwellers. The evacuation order will advise a time that the evacuation should begin and a time when the evacuation, and all preparations, should be completed. The evacuation order will list the time when access to Bogue Banks will be controlled and will list the time that shelters will open.

Evacuation zones highlight areas most at risk to storm surge and flooding. Local officials will determine which areas should be evacuated. Areas in Zone A will typically be evacuated first, followed by areas in Zone B, etc. While all zones won’t be evacuated in every event, emergency managers will work with local media and use other outreach tools to notify residents and visitors of impacted zones and evacuation instructions.

Go to the Know Your Zone website for more details.

Evacuation Assistance

Anyone who is unable to evacuate and/or shelter on their own, who may require specialized transportation assistance or whose medical needs prevent them from evacuating on their own should register with the special needs registry prior to an emergency evacuation. Individuals on the registry will receive priority and assistance evacuating to a facility appropriate for their level of care. The program is specifically for individuals who live alone or with their families, not those residing in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or group homes.

Register for Special Needs Evacuation Assistance

Evacuation Timing

Residents and visitors who intend on evacuating prior to the approach of a storm should not feel rushed to do so. Evacuation orders are issued far enough in advance of impending storms so as to allow sufficient time for residents to complete storm preparations and travel to a safe location before the arrival of gale force ( 39 mph) winds. This evacuation time cushion is usually between 18 and 24 hours. During tourist season the Control Group may request that visitors, persons towing boats or campers, and persons in RVs voluntarily begin their evacuations ahead of the official evacuation period.


Hurricane Evacuation Route Sign
Hurricane evacuation routes in Carteret County are marked with blue and white evacuation route signs. The evacuation routes out of Carteret County are U.S. 70, NC Highway 101, and NC Highway 58. Evacuation Route Map Hurricane evacuees from Carteret County should remember that many highways in Eastern North Carolina serve as evacuation routes for multiple counties. Evacuees should expect to encounter heavy traffic conditions during evacuation events. Traffic delays have been historically encountered in Havelock at the U.S. 70/NC 101 intersection, in Maysville at the U.S. 17/NC 58 intersection, in Kinston at the U.S. 70/NC 58 intersection, in Kinston at the U.S. 70/NC 258 intersection, and in Garner at the I-40/U.S. 70 intersection.


Evacuating from the coast is the surest way to avoid injury from the effects of hurricane force winds and storm surge. But evacuees should carefully choose their place of evacuation. The effects of a hurricane strike will be felt in all of eastern North Carolina. High winds and river flooding are possible in all counties east of I-95.Hurricane evacuees from Carteret County are encouraged to travel to areas in and around Raleigh. Evacuees are reminded that hotel space is limited in many areas and destinations should be confirmed prior to evacuating the coast. Click here for a list of US 70 corridor and Raleigh hotels.


Hurricane evacuations cannot be successfully undertaken without some preplanning and preparations. The basic preparations include:
  • Determine your destination prior to evacuating
  • Know your evacuation route
  • Keep a full tank of gasoline
  • Pack supplies sufficient for 3 to 5 days
  • Pack important papers (insurance, identifications, property inventory)
  • Have a plan for your pets
  • Secure your home before leaving
  • Notify friends and relatives of your destination