Here’s What You Need To Know Ahead Of Hurricane Season
By Parker Diakite
It’s hard to resist those low fares to places like Cancun, San Juan, and Nassau this summer.
We get it. Your travel shouldn’t have to come to a full halt during the next six months of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the peak season for hurricanes is from mid-August to late October. The most common date for a hurricane is Sept. 10, according to weather forecasters.
For 2019, the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences is predicting six hurricanes, up from its prediction of five back in April.
According to researchers, the odds of at least one Category 3, 4, or 5 storms making landfall in these locations are:
- Entire U.S. coastline: 54% (average for last century is 52%)
- Caribbean: 44% (average for last century is 42%)
- U.S. East Coast, including Florida: 32% (average for last century is 31%)
- Gulf Coast, from the Florida Panhandle west to Brownsville, Texas: 31% (average for last century is 30%)
With that being said, there are some things you should know ahead of time in case disaster strikes.
For starters, if you want to travel during hurricane season, travelers are encouraged to vacation in the islands closer to South America.
Known as the ABC islands, Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao sit on the edge of the hurricane belt and are less likely to be impacted by a hurricane compared to the other Caribbean islands.
If you already booked travel for summer 2019 outside of the ABC Islands, no need to worry. Travel agents recommend spending the extra money on travel insurance.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but travel insurance is not as common as you think.
A recent report revealed that more than 70 percent of travelers to Puerto Rico have not purchased travel insurance, as reported in Business Wire.
The study, conducted by Arch RoamRight travel insurance, comes less than two years after Hurricane Maria devastated the island and disrupted travel plans.
“We know everyone’s travel style is different, but 78 percent of travelers indicating they had not yet purchased travel insurance for a trip to Puerto Rico is concerning,” Cory Sobczyk, vice president of business development for Arch RoamRight, told the publication.
Travel insurance can provide coverage such as cancellations for travelers with trips booked to destinations that may be affected by hurricanes. You have to purchase the insurance early and before a hurricane is named.
In addition, purchasing travel insurance can provide important benefits to travelers, including emergency medical benefits and coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged luggage.
And speaking of luggage, you want to pack smart and light during hurricane season.
Experts said travelers should feel comfortable with packing enough for a carry-on that includes extra clothes, ziplock baggies to store passports and documents during wet weather, extra cash in local currency in case the power is down during a tropical storm, and a travel-size first aid kit.