When planning a trip, it's critical to have safety measures in case of an unforeseen event, like a hurricane. These powerful tropical wind storms may threaten to ruin your vacation, but planning protects you from any risks. While it may seem trivial to get ready for a storm that’s yet to hit, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Most hurricanes are active in September, but some storms may hit as early as June or late October. It’s important to check whether your travel destination is in a hurricane-prone area before embarking on your journey, though that shouldn't stop you from taking that trip you deserve.

01Before the trip

Young man and woman sitting with world map and computer on study table

Some hurricanes may be dangerous while others may be mild and have no adverse effects. You may be lucky to experience the latter, but it’s important to know what to do when the worst occurs. Before traveling, you need to plan every detail meticulously with regard to a hurricane occurrence. This is important since you may be traveling to a foreign place and may not have familiar faces around to help you when trouble arises.

02Travel destination

 Leaning lighthouse in Puerto Morelos town. In 1967 the structure was tilted over in Hurricane Beulah.

Traveling during the hurricane season shouldn’t be troublesome since there are multiple holiday destinations for you to choose from. If storms scare you, you may choose a destination that is less likely to be stricken by a hurricane. For instance, the eastern Caribbean islands are more prone to hurricanes than the western and southern islands.

03Packing for your trip

Disaster preparedness checklist on a clipboard with disaster relief items in the background

Traveling to a hurricane-prone area means that you may be caught in a storm at any time. You should consider packing lightly in case you need to grab your bag and quickly catch a flight back home. Flashlights, cell phones, first aid supplies, toiletries, and cash are some items that come in handy and are advisable for you to carry along. You should also pack important documents such as travel papers and passports in plastic bags. If you’re on medication, ensure it’s in watertight containers.

04Hotel, resort, and airline policies on hurricanes

happy holidays in beautiful beach hotel at sunset

Most resorts usually offer relatively low fees when a storm is imminent in a bid to entice customers. Instead of banking on good weather to enjoy the benefits of a deal that may turn sour, ensure that you get an assurance or some form of compensation in case bad weather strikes. You should also inquire whether you may change reservations or rebook at the same rate if you’re caught in a storm before you even reach your destination. Additionally, some resorts may offer a free vacation in the future for the number of days your stay is disrupted. Find out whether your airline carrier waives change fees during extreme weather conditions.

 

05Purchasing travel insurance

concept booking travel insurance on wooden background

Travel insurance is only available before a hurricane is recognized, so you should consider purchasing early enough. It may cover the costs of your airline ticket, resort stay, or the cost of your entire trip as well. The benefits of purchasing insurance may include compensation for lost bags and evacuation from the storm. It's not only beneficial during bad weather but also when medical emergencies or travel delays arise.

06Information on hurricane alerts and emergency protocol

red flag on the beach during a storm

Once you arrive at your destination, ask about the warning signs of a perceived hurricane. Furthermore, make sure that you are aware of how you’ll receive the information in case of an electrical failure. You should also familiarize yourself with the building’s emergency exits, the plan in place for emergency evacuation as well as indoor or outdoor shelters the resort may have. Additionally, you may use area maps to find out routes that may lead you to higher ground in case you need to escape floods.

07Emergency food supply

People getting help with hot food, clothes and supplies in the Rockaway beach

Hurricanes may last for as short as a day or as long as a month. During this time, you ought to have enough food. Make sure to pack non-perishable foods, like cereals and canned goods, in a waterproof container to last a couple of weeks. Moreover, ensure that you store enough water and other drinks to stay hydrated.

08Finding a safe haven

Harbortown Marina boarded up preparing for the impact of Hurricane Dorian

If you find yourself in the middle of a hurricane, keep calm and find a place to protect yourself from floods or winds. Move to an interior room and stay away from windows until help arrives, especially if evacuation plans are not available. While doing so, make sure to stay tuned to the radio or television to receive emergency alerts. If you’re outdoors and are caught in a storm, do not drive or walk through the floods. Instead, find the nearest building.

09Evacuation

A sign directs hurricane evacuees to safety

Evacuation is an integral part of dealing with the aftermath of a storm. It prevents people from getting trapped in buildings in case they collapse. That’s why you need to follow the designated evacuation routes, which are usually designed in the safest areas. As much as staying indoors may seem like the better choice, you should leave the site whenever other inhabitants are evacuating and avoid a last-minute rush since you may end up getting trapped alone.

10Waiting out the storm

storm on the beach, heavy tropical rain in tourist hotel resort

When hurricanes strike, the facilities may resort to having its guests“wait out” the storm until calm weather resurfaces. Some resorts may have indoor shelters that protect their guests from extreme weather conditions. You should stay in, wait and make sure that the hurricane is truly gone before leaving the building. Local updates may come in handy to know where the calmer areas of the storm are.

11What to do when trapped in a flooded building

Cars submerged near hotel from hurricane Harvey

If you're trapped by flooding water in your room or any part of a building, find a way to access the highest part of the room. This will protect you from floodwater in case it breaks into the room, but you shouldn’t hide in closed spaces like lofts since rising floodwater may trap you. It’s important to maintain constant communication with the outside world. Always keep your loved ones updated about your situation at all times since any information might come in handy during evacuation.

12Steps to take immediately after the hurricane

Philipbsburg St.Maarten, Hurricane Irma category 5 causes damage to the island of st.maarten

Avoid walking in flooded water due to undetected underground power lines that may electrocute you. Additionally, wear closed shoes while walking outside to protect your feet from broken glass and other dangerous objects. In case of any injury, seek immediate medical attention. You should also avoid driving through highways after a hurricane has hit the area, since the storm may have damaged vital roads and bridges.