(Houston, TX) – As you make travel plans this summer, the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management reminds residents that hurricane season is underway. While traveling during hurricane season presents a unique set of potential challenges, proper awareness and preparation can allow for an issue-free vacation.
When planning a trip, keep the potential weather of your destination in mind. Locations along the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic and the Caribbean are all vulnerable to tropical weather between the months of June and November. Safety should remain the number one priority while traveling. It is better to cancel or postpone a trip than to be caught in a hurricane.
Travel insurance can help minimize any financial losses you may encounter in the case of an unforeseen storm interfering with your travel plans. Make sure your insurance covers trip interruption and trip cancellation. Also, make sure you have medical coverage either through your health care plan or through additional travel insurance
If you are traveling to a coastal area, or an area that is known to be struck by hurricanes, be proactive. U.S. nationals can subscribe to STEP (Smart Traveler Enrolment Program) which will get you in touch with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to make them aware of your presence in the area. More information can be found at https://step.state.gov/.
If a tropical storm or hurricane develops while you are on vacation, leaving you with no time to evacuate, it is important that you are prepared. Having an emergency plan will allow you to stay calm and safe throughout the storm. Hotels should provide you with any resources and emergency information you need to stay safe. If you are on the road it is important to keep an emergency kit with any supplies you will including food, water, medication, and important documents.