July 13, 2024
Caribbean Braces For Rough Hurricane Season: 7 Ways Travelers Can Stay Safe & Be Prepared  

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If you’re thinking of visiting the Caribbean this summer then you’ll need to be prepared for anything.  

This hurricane season is going to be a rough one. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 but hurricane activity typically peaks from late August to early October.  

Not this year.  

A hurricane is about to batter this Caribbean beach

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Hurricane Beryl is currently devastating parts of the Caribbean.  

In fact, it’s officially the strongest storm to hit the southeastern Caribbean in 20 years. And now it’s heading towards Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.  

This Will Be A Rough Hurricane Season 

Put simply, hurricane season is a period that occurs every year when tropical storms are more likely to form. They’re caused by a combination of warm seas, humidity, and strong ocean winds.  

Aftermath of a tropical storm in the CaribbeanAftermath of a tropical storm in the Caribbean

The Atlantic hurricane season that impacts the Caribbean islands and the Mexican Caribbean is getting worse and worse each year as a result of climate change, which means the Atlantic ocean is getting warmer.  

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this year’s hurricane season is forecasting that the Caribbean will see between 17 and 25 named tropical storms, between 8 and 13 hurricanes, and between 4 and 7 major hurricanes.  

Huge tree trunk on top of a vehicle after a storm in the CaribbeanHuge tree trunk on top of a vehicle after a storm in the Caribbean

It’s also worth noting that as well as being the Atlantic season’s first hurricane of 2024, Beryl is also the earliest storm on record to reach Category 5 level.  

This means that the season has started early and that it’s going to be a long and eventful one! 

Hurricanes kill, and there has already been a loss of life this hurricane season. So you might be thinking that it’s in poor taste to be talking about vacations.  

Palm tree in tropical storm hurricanePalm tree in tropical storm hurricane

But actually tourism is an essential part of the economy for many Caribbean destinations. \

And those vital tourism dollars will be needed to help the worst hit islands rebuild after extensive storm damage.  

So if you are visiting the Caribbean this hurricane season, here’s how you can prepare and stay safe:  

Staying Safe And Being Prepared This Hurricane Season 

  1. Be Alert For Updates From Your Airline Or Vacation Provider. Plans change as quickly as the weather, so if there is a storm approaching then your airline may cancel or delay your flights. Make sure you check your emails regularly so that if plans do change fast you’re ready for them.  
  2. Choose Your Hotel Wisely. Those overwater bungalows might look beautiful, but they weren’t built to withstand a storm. Instead look for a hotel which has rooms equipped with hurricane shutters, and which act as secure hurricane shelters if you’re visiting the Caribbean in the summer. Last month I stayed in the Bahia Principe Grand Tulum and all their rooms are built to Mexican hurricane standards and certified as hurricane shelters, for example.  
Palm trees felled by hurricane in Caribbean island Palm trees felled by hurricane in Caribbean island

3. Follow Instructions. Many destinations in the Caribbean are old hands at weathering tropical storms. They’ll know what to do and how to keep their guests safe. Many hotels will post regular updates for their guests both in the lobby and via the TV in your room, and will guide you in how to stay as safe as possible if a storm does hit.  

4. Travel prepared. If you are hit by a hurricane then it’s likely you’ll be confined to your hotel room until the storm passes. Make sure you have snacks and water in your room. Fill the bathtub so that you can use the water flush the toilet. Also carry a flashlight or candles in your luggage. The hurricane shutters will block out all of the light to your room, and it’s likely that the electricity to your resort will be affected, meaning your room will be pitch black without them.  

5. Get The Right Travel Insurance. Hurricanes and tropical storms are considered ‘acts of God’ so they aren’t automatically covered by every travel insurance policy. If you’re traveling during hurricane season, then make sure your insurance policy will protect you. That way, if your plans are changed or canceled, you won’t be out of pocket. (here are some of our favorite policy providers)

6. Don’t Go Outside Until You’re Told It’s Safe. As soon as you hear the winds die down it can be tempting to head outside and survey the damage. But falling debris and heavy rain mean that the aftermath of the storm can be just as dangerous as the storm itself. Stay inside until you’re officially told it’s safe to leave.  

7. Don’t Do Anything Silly. In most instances, the sale or provision of alcohol is banned during a hurricane. Because it’s not the time to get drunk and make bad decisions! Stay sober, stay alert, and follow every instruction you’re given. It’s the best way to stay safe if you are caught up in a storm on your next vacation.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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