Oak Island Re-Entry Plan
The Town of Oak Island has devised this plan to address re-entry to the Island in the event the bridges are closed due to a storm event or other emergency. The purpose and intent of this plan is to protect and promote the health, safety, and welfare of the public, while likewise protecting personal and real property on the island from vandalism, theft and the like. To that end, this plan is designed to prevent unauthorized persons from accessing the island after a significant storm event or other emergency and to expedite the process allowing residents, property owners, business owners/employees, property managers and contractors back on the island to inspect their property for damage.
Our process works as follows:
- During the storm and immediately afterwards, to the extent reasonably possible, the Town will patrol our streets utilizing our police and public service departments. They will identify damaged properties, downed trees, blocked roadways, flooded areas, and power outages, along with any damages or problems within the Town’s infrastructure (streets, water, sewer, beachfront, etc.). The Fire Department utilizes smaller equipment during the storm (when safe to do so) to respond to the needs of our citizens and staff.
- After the storm, the Town’s Damage Assessment Team members conduct visual inspections throughout the Town and record any damages that they discover. During this process, reports from the Police, Fire, and Public Services Departments are also provided to the Team. The reports are gathered so that a preliminary assessment can be generated and submitted to our Emergency Operations Center (“EOC”) and to other local, state, and federal agencies as is appropriate and/or necessary. To the extent reasonably possible, Town staff stays in constant communication with BEMC and other service providers regarding their ability to maintain and/or restore services.
Pursuant to Article II, Section 12-31 of the Town’s Code of Ordinances, the Mayor may issue a public Declaration declaring a State of Emergency in order to more effectively protect the lives and property of people within the Town.
During the existence of a Declaration of a State of Emergency, the Mayor may prohibit or regulate travel upon any public street, alley or roadway or upon any other public property, except by those in search of medical assistance, food or any commodity or service necessary to sustain the well-being of themselves, their families or some member thereof. The Mayor may also prohibit and/or regulate the participation in, or carrying on of any business activity, and may also further prohibit or regulate the keeping open of places of business, places of entertainment and any other places of public assembly.
In the event the Mayor’s Declaration prohibits travel on the island, the following procedure will be followed with respect to re-entry:
Town staff will complete an assessment of the utility infrastructure (power, water, sewer, cable, etc.), along with all items identified by Police, Fire and Public Services Departments and the Damage Assessment Teams. This assessment will then be reviewed by Town officials. Town officials will then determine if it is safe for the return of our citizens, business owner(s) /employees, Town staff, property managers, contractors, etc. The determination will then be announced in an amended Declaration of a State of Emergency. The amended Declaration will advise as to whether the bridges are re-opened to all, whether they remain closed, or whether they are re-opened to specific groups such as utility contractors, debris and sand removal, road repair etc. to restore services. Specific areas such as the beachfront may need to remain closed as well as other areas that sustained major damage and/or flooding. If certain areas will need to remain closed, the Town will need personnel to administer the closures and it may take time to get the necessary resources in place. A lot of work goes in to re-opening the bridges back up after the storm, so please be patient. Citizens should monitor all TV, radio, the Town’s website (www.oakislandnc.com) and social media (Town of Oak Island on Facebook and @OakIsland_Town on Twitter) for the latest information.
If the bridges are closed, checkpoints may be set up to control re-entry to the island. If the amended Declaration limits re-entry to residents, property owners, property managers, and contractors, the following procedures will apply:
At the checkpoint, a person in the vehicle will need to produce proof of residency (such as a valid driver’s license with an Oak Island address for the island portion of town) or property ownership (such as a recent tax or utility bill) and a photo ID to gain access to the island (names on property ownership documentation and photo ID must match). Business owners, property managers and contractors will need to show proof of property ownership (for the island portion of town) and a photo ID to be allowed access to the island (names on property ownership documentation and photo ID must match).