While sunny and 75° offers the ideal beach day, Hurricanes and other named storms are a reality along the North Carolina coast.
In the event Oak Island is threatened by a tropical storm or hurricane during your vacation with Oak Island Accommodations, you can keep up with local news and weather updates by visiting any of the links at the bottom of this page. Hurricane season occurs each year between June 1 and November 30. A hurricane, a type of tropical cyclone, normally begins in the tropics as a low pressure system.
The North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety explains the different classifications of hurricanes:
- Tropical Depression: A tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 mph or less.
- Tropical Storm: A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph.
- Hurricane: A hurricane is an intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher.
Here are some tips from ReadyNC.org that you can use to keep your family safe in the event of a hurricane.
- Know your evacuation routes and locate your local emergency shelters.
- Don’t get caught by surprise. There is not enough time to think of everything you need to do when a hurricane gets close.
- As a hurricane moves closer to your area, begin monitoring the weather reports every hour.
- Listen for hurricane watches and warnings.
- Put fuel in all vehicles and withdraw some cash from the bank. Gas stations and banks may be closed after a hurricane.
- If authorities ask you to evacuate, do so promptly.
- If you evacuate, be alert to flooded or washed-out roads. Just a few inches of water can float a car. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
- There is never enough time to get ready for nature’s fiercest weather. Give yourself and your family a head start.
Oak Island Accommodations does not offer refunds in the event of a hurricane. However, in compliance with the NC Real Estate Commission refunds are available when ...
(2) When a vacation tenant complies with an evacuation order, he or she is generally entitled to a refund of a share of the money he or she has paid for the rental (rent, security deposit, taxes, etc.) prorated for each night the evacuation order was in effect.
(3) There is an exception to this rule, however. If the tenant was offered travel insurance that covered the risk of mandatory evacuation, then the landlord has no obligation to refund the tenant’s money. To trigger the exception, the cost of the insurance offered cannot exceed 8% of the cost of the vacation rental and the policy cannot exclude the particular storm. It is important to note that some vacation rental insurance companies exclude coverage for storms that have been named by the National Hurricane Center prior to date the insurance was purchased. If a storm is named prior to the purchase of travel insurance and, if the insurance will not cover the tenant for losses or damages resulting from a mandatory evacuation or from damages and losses caused by the named storm, then the tenant is entitled to a refund from the landlord of all monies paid.
The commission statement further communicated in Item 4 that:
(4) If, following the storm and after any mandatory evacuation has been lifted, the landlord or his broker cannot provide a promised rental property to a vacation rental tenant – whether the reason is that the house was significantly damaged or that it is inaccessible due to damage to or closure of roads or ferries – the tenant is entitled to either a refund of his money or the substitution of a reasonably comparable property at the same cost. This refund may come in the form of a paid claim against travel insurance. Tenants and vacation rental managers are encouraged to read and understand the limits of coverage being offered.
Given this information, refund eligibility is determined as follows:
FOR GUESTS AFFECTED BY MANDATORY EVACUATION
In the event of a named storm, local municipalities may announce evacuation orders based on the strength of the named storm. Varying evacuation types include coluntary or mandatory orders. A voluntary evacuation typically means that authorities are urging you to seek shelter outside of the potentially affected area but that the choice to stay remains yours. Voluntary evacuation orders are usually issued when there are potential threats associated. A mandatory evacuation typically applies to all people and means that you should leave the area immediately, and usually applies when a threat is imminent.
If you purchased travel insurance, you can begin the claims process. For information on your coverage and/or the claims process, please contact Red Sky directly at 866-549-5283. Please note, Red Sky will not make a final decision on a claim prior to your travel dates. If you purchased travel insurance, you must file a claim.
If you DID NOT purchase travel insurance and are not allowed to check in due to a mandatory evacuation order, your reservation is non-refundable.
FOR GUESTS AFFECTED AFTER MANDATORY EVACUATION IS LIFTED
Following a storm, guests will be notified of the status of the property they have rented and if they will be permitted to check-in or not.
If the property is rentable, guests will be notified that they will be allowed to check-in to the property they have rented.
If the property is not rentable, guests will be notified that they will not be able to check-in upon their arrival date. Guests who purchased travel insurance should begin a claim with Red Sky. For those who did not purchase travel insurance, OIA staff can work with you to search for a comparable property or offer a refund.
Check-in and refund eligibility will be assessed on a week-by-week basis, and staff will be in communication on that weekly basis as the situation unfolds further.
Staff will also work to respond to all questions as quickly as we are able, and will follow up with additional communications by email as necessary. We ask that guests keep an eye on their email in case of any status changes.
As always, we appreciate patience and understanding surrounding a tropical storm activity.