The name "Salvo" allegedly stems from the American Civil War, during which a passing Union vessel spotted the settlement, which was not marked on their maps. The commanding officer ordered an attack, and a sailor marked the site on his map with the word "Salvo." The name was formally given to the town when it received a post office in 1901. The Salvo post office, zip code 27972, one of the smallest postal facilities in the United States, was damaged by an arsonist in 1992. A new post office was constructed later in the decade for all of Chicamacomico. Hurricane Sandy, November 2012, damaged much of the Outer Banks area including Salvo. The residents of Salvo are governed by the Dare County Board of Commissioners. Salvo is part of District 4, along with Avon, Buxton, Frisco, Hatteras, Rodanthe and Waves.