Hurricanes have devastated areas of the U.S. in the past. Most notably, Hurricane Katrina destroyed most of New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2005. Given the potential danger of hurricanes, people considering a holiday in the U.S. should worry. However, hurricanes occur only during a specific time of year and are limited to particular geographic regions.
Officially, the hurricane season in the U.S. begins June first and ends Nov. 30. Conscientious travellers can consult the forecast for the season issued by meteorologists at Colorado State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) for a preview of expected storms. University College London also creates an annual Tropical Storm Risk report that predicts the severity of an upcoming hurricane season.
The vast majority of hurricanes that affect the U.S. are limited to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coast. The states most frequently affected are Texas, Louisiana, small sectors of Mississippi and Alabama, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. The National Hurricane Center reports that more than 80 percent of all major U.S. hurricanes touch down in Texas or Florida. However, all of the Atlantic coast states are vulnerable.
Therefore, when planning an Atlantic or Gulf coast holiday, tourists should schedule their stays between December and May to avoid a major risk of encountering extreme weather. They can double-check their holiday dates against the year’s hurricane forecasts as an added precaution.
Fortunately for travellers, the U.S. is a large country with myriad options for warm weather destinations during hurricane season. The Pacific coast provides plenty of beach front for tourists who love basking in the summertime sun far from hurricane danger. This is not to say that the Pacific Ocean does not conjure its share of hurricanes. However, unlike the Atlantic Coast, where gulf streams sustain water temperatures warm enough to fuel tropical storms, the waters of the Pacific near the U.S. coast are cooler. Also, as hurricanes form offshore, they tend to move in a north westerly direction away from the Pacific coastline.
Yes, cautious travellers should consider the danger of hurricanes while on holiday but only during specific times of year and in certain regions. Given the vast spaces and huge variety of holiday activities the U.S. offers, however, avoiding hurricanes while enjoying time in the U.S. is easily done.
There is not such thing per se as ‘Hurricane travel insurance’ but generally problems resulting from hurricanes whilst you are on holiday will be covered in your policy but it does depend on the type of policy you bought. You should check the small print in your insurance policy very carefully, if you are heading to an area in which hurricanes are potentially possible. In your have had the unfortunate experience of being a hurricane (as I have twice – including Hurricane Andrew in Florida a few year back), your prime concern is safety at the time, rather than insurance. Nevertheless, if you are heading to Florida or Virginia for example, in the summertime, then maybe check your policy restrictions. You can also telephone the support line for the travel insurance company and specifically ask about his cover on the policy.
To be completely honest though, the chances of you getting stuck in a hurricane are very low and even then, there tends to be warnings, i.e. from the National Hurricane Center. Do not be overly worried about hurricanes and travel during hurricane season but just perhaps check the small print on your policy. The chances in reality are that you are far more likely to get mugged or lost your luggage whilst on holiday.
Article written by Andrew Symonds.