When is hurricane season in North Carolina in 2022?

Hurricane season in North Carolina runs from June to November, though the Tar Heel State sees the most hurricanes in August, September, and October.

Kara McGinley


Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is an editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

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North Carolina is the fourth worst state for hurricanes in the U.S. The Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends on November 30, but the Tar Heel State is most at risk for hurricanes during the months of August, September, and October.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts another above-average hurricane season in 2022. [1] Because of the heightened risk, North Carolina homeowners should make sure they have the proper home insurance coverage in place before the start of hurricane season.

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What month does North Carolina have the most hurricanes?

North Carolina is most at risk for hurricanes from August to October. Of the 301 hurricanes that have made landfall in the U.S. since 1851, 58 of them have been in North Carolina — ranging from Category 1 storms to major hurricanes. [2]  

The last major hurricane to affect the Tar Heel State was Hurricane Florence in September of 2018, which resulted in an estimated $22 billion in damage in North Carolina. Most of the devastating hurricanes to hit the state in recent history occurred in the months of September and October. [3]  

Here is NOAA's forecast for hurricane season in 2022. [4]  

  • Around 14 to 21 named storms 

  • Around six to 10 of those could become hurricanes (wind speeds of 74 mph or higher)

  • Around three to six major hurricanes — Category 3, 4, or 5 (wind speeds of 111 mph or higher)

Where do hurricanes hit the most in North Carolina?

All areas of North Carolina were affected by hurricanes in the last 20 years. [5] The towns and cities on the Atlantic coastline of North Carolina are most at risk. That means places like the Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras, and other coastal areas are at heightened risk for storm damage. 

Hurricane Florence, for example, caused devastating destruction in Wrightsville Beach in 2018. [6] Before that, in October of 2016, Hurricane Matthew resulted in especially severe flooding in Robeson, Edgecombe, Cumberland and Wayne counties. [7]  

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How to prepare for hurricane season in North Carolina

Because hurricanes are so common in the state, North Carolinians need to be properly prepared for hurricane season. Here are a few steps to take before, during, and after the storm to keep your home and family safe.

Before the storm

  • Purchase flood insurance

  • Make sure your homeowners insurance policy is updated with the right wind coverage

  • Create an emergency plan and kit

  • Know your evacuation routes

  • Secure your property

  • Follow weather reports every hour

  • Fuel up your vehicles

During the storm

  • Continue to follow weather reports

  • Close storm shutters

  • Turn off gas, water, and power if authorities tell you to do so

  • Turn off propane tanks

  • Leave your home if you’re instructed to do so by government officials

  • If you can’t leave your home, stay inside and away from windows and doors

  • Take shelter in a windowless room, bathroom, or hallway

After the storm

  • If you need shelter, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area

  • Stay updated on local alerts 

  • Stay away from loose or downed power lines

  • Don’t drive through flooded or washed-out roads

  • Make temporary, emergency repairs to your home if you can — and save receipts

  • Take pictures of the damage 

  • File a claim with your insurance company

Insurance considerations for hurricane season in North Carolina

If you live in North Carolina, you may have some coverage gaps in your homeowners insurance that you’ll need to fill by purchasing additional coverage. Here are some considerations to keep in mind for hurricane season in 2022. 

Know your hurricane deductible

In North Carolina and other Atlantic coastal states, insurers require you to pay a special hurricane deductible when filing a claim. Unlike standard home insurance deductibles — which are usually a flat dollar amount — hurricane deductibles are set at a percentage of your dwelling coverage limit — usually between 1% and 10%. These deductibles are typically only triggered when the National Weather Service declares a hurricane or named storm. 

Here’s an example of how hurricane deductibles work.

Say your home is insured for $300,000 and your deductible is set at 5%. That means after your deductible is paid, you’ll receive a claim payout of $285,000 ($300,000 in dwelling coverage minus your $15,000 deductible).

If you don’t qualify for homeowners insurance coverage, consider a FAIR Plan

The North Carolina Joint Underwriting Association (NCJUA) provides last-resort homeowners insurance coverage options for homeowners in North Carolina. If you can’t find coverage in the standard market place because your home is too at risk for flooding or coastal storm damage, contact the NCJUA to see if you qualify for their program. Our licensed agents at Policygenius can help you do this.

Purchase flood insurance

Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Because North Carolina is prone to hurricanes and flooding, you should strongly consider purchasing flood insurance. You can buy flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) — a FEMA-backed organization — or through private flood insurance companies.

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Frequently asked questions

When does hurricane season start in North Carolina?

The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season is June 1, but North Carolina sees the most hurricanes in August, September, and October.

What part of North Carolina gets hurricanes?

Every part of North Carolina was affected by hurricanes in the last 20 years. The areas on the North Carolina coastline are most at risk for hurricane and flood damage.