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Travel Tip: Hurricane Season

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It’s the height of hurricane season, and while this year hasn’t been as nearly devastating as recent years, it always pays to arm yourself with information before you travel.

Historically, airlines and hotels will try to accommodate travelers who get nailed by a storm either during—or just before—their trip. That might come in the form of a rebooking voucher or waiving cancellation fees.

Unlike tornadoes, hurricanes have some advance warning, so you’ll be aware if one is likely to come your way. Tropical storms are named when they reach a sustained wind speed of 39 miles per hour. When it hits 74 miles per hour, it’s official a hurricane.

So if you’re planning to travel to any hurricane-prone area—like the Caribbean or Gulf Coast—purchase a travel insurance policy before the storm is named. Otherwise it falls under the exclusion of a foreseeable circumstance.

Sign up for alerts from your airline, either via email or text message to stay on top of any delays or cancellations in real time.

Pay attention to local weather reports in your departure and arrival cities.

And consider signing up for the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, so you can be contacted should there be an emergency situation.

For more information, visit the Safety & Security archives.

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