During the past few weeks, weather experts have been alerting the population about hurricane season in the Atlantic. Now, the Government of the United States has issued a warning for American citizens in regions that can be affected.
The information has been published by the Department of State on the page of the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS. Authorities stated: “Hurricane Season in the Atlantic begins June 1 and runs through November 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center expects the 2022 season to be above average for the seventh consecutive year.”
Those considering traveling near the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea during the season, must stay aware and up to date. NOAA predicted that this hurricane season 2022 in the Atlantic will produce 14 to 21 storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 major hurricanes.
There is “a 65% chance of an above-normal season”. Gina M. Raimondo, Secretary of Commerce, said: “Early preparation and understanding your risk is key to being hurricane resilient and climate-ready.”
Raimondo also added: “Throughout the hurricane season, NOAA experts will work around-the-clock to provide early and accurate forecasts and warnings that communities in the path of storms can depend on to stay informed.”
There are several climate factors related to the increasing amount of hurricanes, tropical cyclones, and storms, including the atmospheric phenomenon La Niña. Travelers can look up more scientific details on NOAA’s website and should also follow the US Government’s recommendations.
The US Department of State’s Recommendations
The government has shared advisory for US citizens visiting or living in the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, or near the Atlantic ocean. These are the main recommendations:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP): travelers should enroll in the government’s free service for U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to get security updates.
- Present a negative COVID-19 test before traveling.
- Consider that, in the event of a hurricane, travelers might not be able to depart the area within 24 to 48 hours or even longer, roads may be obstructed and personal security—due to violence and looting that can come up after a natural disaster— may not be guaranteed since security personnel might not be able to assist.
- Get travel insurance that can cover unexpected expenses. According to US laws any evacuation costs —including the assistance of commercial airlines— are the responsibility of citizens.
- Keep a kit of essential items such as bottled water, essential medications, non-perishable food, vital documents —passports must not be forgotten— and a battery-powered radio.
- Stay informed: monitor local media, radio, stay up to date with information from the National Hurricane Center and the government emergency page Ready.Gov.
- Informe friends and family of your whereabouts and remain in contact with your hotels or tour operators for evacuation instructions.
Travel During Hurricane Season
Most travelers are eager to travel to all the fascinating destinations in the Hurricane Belt like Miami, The Bahamas, or Cancun. However, this season those interested in high-risk destinations should take some precautions besides the ones already mentioned by the US State Department.
A few weeks ago, Florida experienced one of the worst flight delays in years due to thunderstorms and over 10,000 flights were canceled or delayed. So travelers must consider that this is a possibility when traveling between June and November. Flexible tickets and rebooking alternatives might come in handy, as well as preparing for the unpredictable.
Another thing to consider is to opt for destinations that have historically remained safe in the Caribbean like Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. Visiting sunny destinations also with beautiful beaches but the Pacific is a great alternative, like Hawaii or Mexico’s Pacific coast: Puerto Vallarta, Oaxaca, Mazatlan or Acapulco. Likewise, Panama can offer visitors great beaches, warm weather, and no hurricane worry.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories