Summertime means vacation to many Americans. It’s time to relax and enjoy the abundant daylight and warm evenings. Some of the most popular places to visit--the beautiful coastlines of Hawaii, Florida and South Carolina to name a few-- happen to be located where hurricanes can occur. Though it’s rare that vacation plans are affected by such an event, it is always good to be prepared.
Hurricane Facts, History and Forecast
Hurricane season is June 1 through November 30, peaking in mid August to late October according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). To be a hurricane, winds must be greater than 74 mph whereas a tropical storm’s wind speed must be greater than 39 mph.
With nine tropical cyclones formed and eight named, 2014 was the sparsest hurricane season in the Atlantic since 1997. However with 16 hurricanes in the Pacific, 2014 ties the modern record for most hurricanes in one season, previously set in 1990 and 1992.
For 2015, NOAA predicts there is a 70 percent chance of a below normal hurricane season in the Atlantic. Conversely, there is a 70 percent chance of an above normal hurricane season in the Eastern and Central Pacific in 2015.
How to Prepare
Vacationers planning to visit the Atlantic, Eastern or Southern Pacific hurricane basins this summer or fall should consider learning how to prepare for an emergency should they unexpectedly get caught in a hurricane’s path.
FEMA has created a dedicated website that describes how to accomplish the following three essentials.
- Make a plan
- Create a kit
- Know your resources
Families or groups traveling together should make an emergency plan to determine where they are going to meet and how they will get there. Additionally, they should have an emergency kit with a radio, water, food and other survival basics. Some travelers who know that they are vacationing during hurricane season bring one with them.
When it comes to resources, there are a vast amount of websites and social media tools available. Before departing on any vacation during hurricane season, travelers may want to make a list of resources so they can stay informed about the weather and evacuations.
FEMA, NOAA and regional resources, including state emergency response team sites like Florida’s, are a good place to start. Travel agents, vacation rental owners or hotel management can offer their expertise. Reputable travel insurance providers, such as CSA Travel Protection, are another viable option. CSA has a dedicated web page with frequently asked questions for hurricane related evacuations, claims and preparedness, as well as an emergency assistance services hotline (877) 243-4135.
Armed with these hurricane preparedness tips and tricks, travelers can leave on their vacations knowing they have options should a hurricane unexpectedly interrupt their plans. Though the chances of this happening are very slim, being prepared is just one more reason to relax during vacation.
Notes: Travel insurance plans are administered by Customized Services Administrators, Inc., CA Lic. No. 0821931, located in San Diego, CA and doing business as CSA Travel Protection and Insurance Services. Plans are available to residents of the U.S. but may not be available in all jurisdictions. Benefits and services are described on a general basis; certain conditions and exclusions apply.