Being aware of hurricane season and what that means for your travel plans is important. Hurricane season is officially here again, running from June 1st to November 30th in the Atlantic, and from May 15th to November 30th in the Eastern Pacific1. So what’s in store for 2014? According to Colorado State University, the season is supposed to be less active than normal.1 But, that doesn’t mean that the hurricanes that do make landfall won’t be extremely damaging. No matter the year, it’s important to be prepared for traveling during hurricane season. Here are a few tips to get you started.
To help prepare yourself during storm season (hurricane, tornado, severe thunderstorms), what precautions should you take when planning you summer travels?
Review your resort/hotel/vacation home’s evacuation procedure and know where you need to go and how to get there in the event of a tropical storm, severe weather or tornado.
Monitor Weather Conditions
Pay attention to the daily weather forecast. Is there a tropical storm or severe weather brewing? If the words “evacuation” or “take cover” are mentioned, take it seriously and get to a shelter. If you have time to evacuate before a forecasted storm hits, or need assistance departing as soon as possible in the aftermath of a storm, call Travel Guard for assistance in getting home safely.
If you are evacuated to an emergency shelter, contact family or friends at home to let them know your status/location and what’s going on. Chances are your loved ones have heard about the inclement weather and are wondering if you are ok. It is likely that cell phone networks will be overloaded with people trying to reach family members but a text message may get through if you’re having trouble making a call.
Consider bringing a small radio or smart phone with you to the shelter or basement to listen for weather updates or when the “all clear” is given. You may want to purchase a battery-operated charger so you can keep your phone charged even if the power goes out. These potentially life-saving travel apps might be worth downloading before you go, too.
If you are going on a road trip be sure to know what to do if you encounter severe weather. Don’t try to out-drive a tornado; seek shelter in the nearest building. If there is no building nearby get out of the car and lie in a ditch. If you encounter flooding while driving, don’t try to drive through the flooded roadways – turn around and find another path. Knowing how to react to severe weather is imperative. More severe weather driving safety tips are available here.
Pack Travel Insurance
Remember to pack a travel insurance plan through Travel Guard for 24/7 travel assistance in re-booking flights out of an area or for other types of emergency travel assistance. Travel insurance plans can also provide coverage for medical expenses and emergency medical evacuations, as well as reimbursement for your pre-paid, non-refundable trip costs in the event that inclement weather causes the cancellation or interruption of your travel.
Always read the terms of your policy before purchasing to make sure the plan you’ve selected includes the weather coverage you’re seeking, as coverage varies by plan. (Need assistance? Call our World Service Center anytime at 800.851.0048; they’ll be glad to help you.)