Hurricane-EvacuationThis article appeared in Travel Pulse and was written by Tom Bastek.  Last week there were two hurricanes bearing down on Hawaii – one of the big vacation meccas of North America. Your vacation could have easily turned into an evacuation.  In preparedness for storm Iselle, the state opened shelters, kept people out of the water (they were expecting 12-18 foot surf) and stopped public transportation.

For the residents of the coastal communities, hurricane preparedness/evacuation is drilled into their heads.  For the vacationers coming from other locations, you may not at all be familiar with what to do should you be traveling during the Hurricane Season.  Here are some things to think about:

Plan Ahead

The Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to Dec. 1 but they can develop earlier and later than that period.  August, September and October are the busiest months by far.  Keep in mind if you are vacationing during this time period you might want to consider travel Insurance.

All of the coastal states have Emergency Management websites that will clue you in to the what, where and hows of hurricane preparedness and evacuation procedures.  Florida actually bundles their hurricane preparedness in with their severe weather guide because with the amount of outdoor activities in the state.

Keep in Communication

As you can probably guess, tourists aren’t really paying attention when it comes to the news of the day.  When on vacation most tourists want to unplug from the real world and often avoid news altogether.  If you are traveling to the coastal states during the hurricane season you really need to pay a little more attention. Get into the habit of checking the weather every day

Download an App

There are plenty of Apps on the market right now that have alerts for severe weather, and so even if you aren’t following the forecast, they will go off in an extreme situation. AccuWeather, The Weather Channel and quite a few others have emergency alerts that would wake you out of deep sleep should you need it.

Be Flexible

Just because you need to evacuate the beautiful beach you were on doesn’t mean you have to cancel your vacation. Have a backup plan in mind and ask the what-if’s before you go. Remember if you are traveling with a pet and have to evacuate, you will have to make reservations for the same pet-friendly accommodations that you would make normally.

Don’t Panic – Make a Plan and Act on it!

With the technology that is around today, hurricane tracking and preparation is better than it has ever been.  If you have nothing else, no cell phone, no hurricane guide, no radio, just follow the blue Hurricane Evacuation Route signs and they will lead you to safety.