When you live and play in paradise, occasionally the same forces that created the comfortable climate and lush landscape can damage them. On the Charleston beaches, the same forces that create balmy breezes and warm waves can also bring high winds, heavy rain and, in rare instances, a hurricane.
Because we are situated along the eastern seaboard, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, and Goat Island are occasionally threatened by tropical storms. Fortunately, unlike with earthquakes and tsunamis, modern-day tropical weather forecasting provides ample time for preparation to protect visitors and residents.
In the event of tropical activity, we do anticipate higher than usual call volume. We appreciate your patience and all calls will be answered in the order that they were received. For the most up-to-date information, please monitor media outlets for weather-related updates, including bridge and road closures in the Charleston area.
When is Hurricane Season?
The Atlantic hurricane season formally begins June 1 and ends November 30. Historically, the chances of hurricane activity are greatest between August 15 and October 1. Between 1900 and 2000, only 14 hurricanes have made landfall along South Carolina’s coast.
Can I Travel to Charleston's Beaches During Hurricane Season?
Absolutely! The Charleston Beaches are very popular with vacationers in the summer and fall months. Many great events occur during that time, such as Restaurant Week and the Fall Tour of Homes in historic Charleston. Late summer and early fall typically offers the best vacation values because school is back in session, and family vacationing is slower.
TROPICAL STORM WATCHES AND WARNINGS
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area.
A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area. A hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds in an area.
A Hurricane Warning is issued when sustained winds of 74 mph or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less. These winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal flooding, and/or river flooding.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to do when a tropical storm or hurricane is approaching?
- Gather Emergency Supplies
- First aid kit, drinking water, nonperishable food, flashlights, and medications
- Listen for Alerts
- Follow instructions issued by local officials
- Follow instructions if you need to evacuate or shelter in place.
- Avoid driving in flooded areas.
- Prepare your Vacation Rental
- Make sure all the windows and doors are closed.
- Secure lawn furniture and other loose, light-weight objects, even garbage cans inside the garage or other safe area of the property.
What Will Happen in a Voluntary Evacuation?
- Based on the National Weather Service forecasts, the County Emergency Preparedness Plan may issue a recommendation to evacuate barrier islands like the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. Once this action occurs:
- Radio and TV will broadcast the recommendation
- Wild Dunes Security will issue leaflets to all vehicles passing through the gate advising of the recommended evacuation
- The Island Fire Departments will dispatch trucks throughout the Island broadcasting the recommendation for voluntary evacuation.
- The Municipal Emergency Operations Center (MEOC) will begin notifying area businesses and rental agencies.
What Will Happen in a Mandatory Evacuation?
- Police will restrict Island access at the Breach Inlet Bridge and IOP Connector to all except for emergency and official vehicles.
- It is possible that by the time of a mandatory evacuation order is issued, authorities will already be blocking island bound traffic from the Mount Pleasant causeways.
- Given conditions are still favorable and manpower is sufficient, the fire and police departments will go door-to-door to advise those remaining on the island of the mandatory evacuation.
- The media will broadcast the evacuation order.
- Once the fire and police personnel are required to evacuate, there will be no police or emergency medical assistance on the island and accesses will be blocked.
After the Storm
- Keep listening to radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio.
- Watch for curfews and closed roads.
- Stay on firm dry ground and beware of downed power lines.
- Please contact Island Realty Maintenance immediately if you notice any damage to your rental home either during or after the storm.
Island Realty does not offer refunds in the event of inclement weather or a hurricane per the terms of our Rental Agreement.
5D. Island Realty is not responsible for the weather or other Acts of God and there will be no refunds.
5E. Travel Insurance protects you from losses you may incur because of unforeseen circumstances, such as illness, injuries, and mandatory hurricane evacuations Travel Insurance must be purchased no later than 30 days prior to arrival or at the time of booking when a reservation is made within 30 days of arrival. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance. Please refer specific questions about coverage to Red Sky Travel Insurance 1-866-889-7409. (Product #4476000)
What will Island Realty do if there is a Hurricane?
Island Realty will take steps to inform you of updates in the event of inclement weather, tropical activity, and bridge closures. For prompt delivery of this information, we highly recommend you ensure your cell phone number is associated with your reservation to receive text alerts. The Island Realty office will remain open with limited personnel during a voluntary evacuation, but will close upon a mandatory evacuation.