How to Prepare for Travel to a Hurricane-Prone Region

As you likely know, weather is a major consideration in terms of travel preparation, no matter what type of climate you’re traveling to. It dictates what you should pack, what type of accommodations you’ll need, and what kind of travel insurance you should get. This is particularly true when it comes to traveling in areas prone to major climate phenomena, such as hurricanes.

If you’re thinking about heading to a destination that is on a major body of water at any point, here are some things you should know about hurricanes and how you can prepare for your travels to a hurricane-prone region:

What is a hurricane?

Hurricanes are simply storms with violent winds caused by a rotating low-pressure weather system. They only form over warm bodies of water near the equator, as they require warm, moist air to fuel them. NASA calls them the “most violent storms on Earth,” as they can cause flooding and other types of damage, though their intensity varies greatly from storm to storm. 

According to NASA, these are the five categories of hurricanes, determined by wind speed, damage at landfall, and storm surge:

Category

Wind Speed (mph) Damage at Landfall Storm Surge (feet)
1 74-95 Minimal 4-5
2 96-110 Moderate 6-8
3 111-129 Extensive 9-12
4 130-156 Extreme 13-18
5 157 or higher Catastrophic

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Okay, now that we have a better sense as to what we’re looking at when we talk about hurricane season, let’s talk about why we’re here: how to prepare for travel. If you do decide to travel to a coastal or Atlantic region during hurricane season, here are some important steps you can take to keep yourself safe and have a good time:

When is “hurricane season”?

First and foremost, you need to know when hurricane season is. It differs from area to area, so it’s important that you know when it will happen in different parts of the world. Here’s when hurricane periods are in different regions around the globe, according to the U.S. Department of State:

Region Start of Season End of Season
North Atlantic June November
Northwest Pacific July November
Northeast Pacific May November
Southwest Pacific October May
South Indian October May
North Indian April

December

How will you know if it’s safe to travel to a hurricane-prone region?

Thankfully, hurricanes can generally be predicted several days before they hit land. If you’re traveling to an area that experiences tropical storms often, make sure you check the National Hurricane Center website in the days prior to your trip – they’ll likely be able to let you know if a hurricane is coming anytime from 36 to 48 hours in advance, so you can take whatever measures are necessary to stay safe.

How can you prepare for travel to a hurricane-prone region?

If you’re planning a trip to a hurricane-prone region, the first thing you need to do is get travel insurance. We’d recommend acquiring a comprehensive insurance policy, since your major concern is most likely about being refunded for the cost of your trip if you have to cancel. Trip Cancellation & Interruption coverage would allow you to cancel your trip or return home early if a hurricane is named and heading toward or recently hit your destination. This coverage would refund you for those nonrefundable, prepaid deposits or payments you had insured.

To compare travel insurance policies with coverage for hurricanes, simply run an instant quote and select the filter displayed below.

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Our team of friendly humans would be happy to help you find a policy with hurricane coverage so you can plan your trip with peace of mind. Give us a call or shoot us an email to walk through which travel insurance plan has the cancellation benefits you need.

We also recommend that you sign up for the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Through this program, you’ll receive updates about safety conditions in the place where you’re headed, and the U.S. Department of State will know where you are if a hurricane does occur. And don’t forget to set up a communication plan in advance of your trip with a few people back home, so they’ll know what your status is if the elements should fuel a violent storm.

Two more quick tips:

1. The best way to know as soon as possible if your flight is altered or cancelled is to sign up for mobile text or email alerts from your airline, so be sure to set those up when you book.

2. No matter what, pack an emergency kit with a portable water filter, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and your medications, just in case.

Do you have travel tips for those traveling to hurricane-prone regions? Here are four destinations a hurricane will never hit, in case you’re looking to re-locate your vacation due to tropical storms! Share your tips with us on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram (@insureyonder).

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