Hurricanes are one of the most unpredictable acts of mother nature that affect the Caribbean, Central America, and Coastal towns throughout the United States. We can watch them develop up to a week in advance but it’s hard to predict what they are going to do until the last moment; it can die down, become stronger, turn left or right whenever it wants. The only thing you can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Mother Nature doesn’t care if you spent years planning and saving for that amazing trip to Disney or that you’re about to board a 7-day cruise through the Caribbean. She will run through whenever she wants and however, she wants. There is more science to it which I won’t get into but just know that the typically the Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1-November 30.
As a local Floridian, when I hear the word Hurricane I think it’s a day to just chill out, have some old-school-family-fun time, and try to make jokes about the storm. Hurricane party anyone? With jokes aside, a hurricane can be a scary thing to face and especially more when you’re on vacation. You’ve never lived through one and generally, the world only see’s the most catastrophic storms televised. Let me tell you, you don’t want to be caught in the middle of that. I’ve seen my share of nasty hurricanes growning up in Florida and it’s not pretty. The storm usually takes a whole day to pass by, but it can take days, weeks, and sometimes even months to recover from them. Just take a look at Andrew, Wilma, Irene, Charley, Sandy, Katrina, and the newest, Harvey.
Here are some helpful tips to know How to survive a Hurricane while on vacation.
Number 1: Travel Insurance
Getting Travel insurance is one of those things my dad always says “It’s better to be safe than sorry”. You hope that you never have to use it but you’re thankful you have it when you have too. Don’t avoid travel to these areas during the season because of a hurricane that may or may not comes by. The season lasts 5 months out of the year. Some seasons there is no activity, other seasons are busier. We can’t just sit our house and avoid seeing the world because of something that “may” happen. Get out there. Life is too short and the world is too big to stay put in one place. Read the small print, because not all travel insurances cover natural events like this one.
Number 2: Listen to your Hotel Staff and Management team
Being in a hotel is probably the safest place to be during a hurricane. You will most likely never lose power as each hotel has powerful generators. Get involved. Ask your hotel about an evacuation plan? When the Governor issues a “State of Emergency” for the state, Hotels are very flexible must give you an option to refund the days you are not going to use. Same goes with Airlines and Theme Parks. Some will give you a partial refund, others allow changes without additional fees, or credit your account to use towards a future vacation. Maintain an open communication with them. It’s not their first hurricane. All Coastal towns have evacuation routes and plans in case these things happen.
Number 3: Follow the local news
Turn on your TV and check out what the local news is talking about. They will be your best resource. Other excellent resources that will be useful in getting information about a storm:
Number 4: Prepare
As soon as the State of Emergency has been issued, go check out the local Supermarket and purchase a few things you might need for a couple of days. Please do this ahead of time. People buy more than they actually need so things like Bread, Peanut butter, Jelly, Tuna, etc go quickly. Take a look at the Red Cross Checklist of items to have during a storm. An essential item for me is cash. You never know if the power goes out and it’s always a smart thing to have enough cash to cover any last minute things. Other items like batteries for my flashlight, snacks, water (1 gallon per person per day), playing cards, and booze are super important.
Yes, booze. Alcohol, adult beverages, Grown-up juice, you know what I’m talking about. You’re already obligated to stay home, you might as well enjoy the wait right? Fill up your bathtub/washing machine with Ice. Place your beers in there. Plus the bathtubs will double us as water to flush in case you loose power. The washing machine will naturally drain out. If you prefer liquor or wine, then go for that too. I like to have a variety just to keep my options open so I dont discriminate.
Number 5: Be patient
Don’t go outside until it’s safe. The eye of the hurricane is the calmest and peaceful moment of the storm.Skies are often clear above the eye and winds are relatively light. Do not go outside to check this out. Since they are small, you won’t be long sitting in an eye of a storm. Before you know it, harsh winds and rains are just around the corner. Don’t play with Mother Nature, she isn’t very nice.
Please be patient to get back to your vacation schedule. Theme parks, restaurants, stores, and other attractions might not open immediately because there could be debris on the roads or those people who local in those places are dealing with potential home damage or flooding.
I think that patience is the best tip I can give you. It will get you a long way. If you decided to stick around, getting back home might become a challenge if there is lots of damage in the area. Remember that even though you’re on vacation and you may have power in your hotel, there might be a local who lives two miles down the road who doesn’t and may have experienced the storm completely different to you.
Offer to help and reach out to the Red Cross. They are always accepting volunteers during times like this. I was always told: “If you have nothing nice to say or nothing positive to add to a conversation, then find something else to do” I’m telling you, one bad apple can ruin everything. Don’t be that apple.
Stay safe. Please reach out to me if you have any questions
Remember when you give good, you get good.