When Traveling During Hurricane Season
Hurricane Ian will go down in history as one of the most catastrophic storms to hit Florida. Fort Meyers took the brunt of the storm with a direct hit that devastated the area. Here in the Raleigh/Durham area, we were lucky. We had significant rainfall, but we didn’t see anything like those south of us. It was business as usual with our RDU Airport shuttle service. However, it does raise the question about travel during prime hurricane season and the safety of it.
Before, during, and after Ian, more than 4,000 flights were canceled due to safety. Thankfully, you have until October 8th to reschedule your flight if it was one of the ones cut. Most airlines are working with people to accommodate them during this difficult time, but the airports in those areas still aren’t running as usual. The good news is that Fort Meyer’s Airport is partially reopening this week to travelers, so you can get a connection or fly to this destination.
Protecting Yourself During Hurricane Season
It’s only normal after such a devastating hurricane to question traveling during peak season. Hurricane season typically runs from June through November of each year, but you will find that the strongest storms often happen in October and November. When the cool air pushes in on the Atlantic, it mixes with the tropical breeze, causing the potential for catastrophic storms.
Now, airlines, hotels, and the tourist industry, in general, know that some people are a bit leery of traveling in this off-season, so they adjust their prices. You take a gamble traveling to the southern half of the United States during these months, but sometimes the deal is too good to pass up. Here are some tips for traveling during hurricane season.
1. Always Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance brings peace of mind to protect your investments. Traveling during hurricane season is even more risky, so it’s worth the extra money. Even if you have no plans of going to Florida or Texas, your flight from the RDU airport might connect through these areas. So international travel to Italy, which connects through New York, might be in trouble if a hurricane hits the Long Island region.
Typically, hurricane activity is further south due to the warmer temperatures, but you don’t want to take any chances. Hurricane Sandy devastated this area years ago, and Ian is causing flooding as it makes its way out of North America. Travel insurance means you will get your money back, or a portion of it, regardless of what Mother Nature is doing.
2. Enable Alerts on Your Phone
Some people turn off emergency alerts on their phones because it’s inconvenient. However, when it comes to hurricane season, you need to tune in and know what’s happening. Even if your flight isn’t canceled, it doesn’t mean the area you’re traveling to is safe to visit. When dealing with the weather, things can change in the blink of an eye, so you want to ensure you’re safe. Getting stranded in another state or country can be a financial burden and a scary experience.
3. Pack Extra
One thing we hear the customer service team tell travelers over and over is to pack for an emergency. The phones at the RDU Airport ring off the hook with questions during hurricane season, and the advice is always the same. For instance, you need to pack extra, especially if the weather where you’re going is questionable. There may be a time when you’re stuck in an airport for a while due to canceled flights. Here are some extras to have on hand:
•Back up phone batteries/chargers
•Sufficient baby formula/diapers and wipes
•Prescription medications (more than what’s needed)
•Pet supplies (food, toys, medications, treats)
•A map (remember GPS is useless in a storm as it uses satellite imagery)
•Food and water for three days
4. Have a Plan in Place
Whether during hurricane season or anytime you travel, you should have a plan in case of an emergency. Here are some things to consider in your emergency plan:
•Where will you meet if you get separated from one another
•The location of the closest phones since cell towers go down first
•Have an alternative hotel picked out
It’s always a challenge to find lodging after a storm. If your hotel is damaged, you might need to move quickly. The closer you are to the main freeways, the harder it will be to find a room. Remember, it’s not just travelers looking but all the emergency workers coming to help with cleanup efforts. It’s best to go off the beaten path just a bit to find lodging.
Being Ready for Hurricane Season Travel
Since some of the best deals in travel happen in the off-season, it’s understandable that you would want to take advantage of those savings. While the chances are slim that something will happen, you want to take precautions. At RDU Airport, we take pride in helping our customers get to and from the airport with our shuttle service. When traveling through these parts, let us help you get to the airport and on your flight without issue.