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Traveling During Hurricane Season

PCana

Many vacationers look forward to traveling during the
summer months to the Caribbean, Florida and vacation
resorts along the Gulf of Mexico.

While the late spring and summer offer tremendous
travel bargains, these months also correspond with the
start of the hurricane season. Recently there has been
an increase of travel in the “off peak” months of July
and August, when many families have the opportunity to
get away on vacation. This year in particular, many
potential vacationers have been unsure whether to plan
a vacation in the areas mentioned above.

The people of the Caribbean sum up hurricane season
with the following saying: June – Too Soon; July –
Stand By; August – Look Out You Must; September –
Remember; October – All Over.

What you need to understand about the nature of the
current hurricane patterns

The experts agree the rise in the number of hurricanes
in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico are likely to
continue. Most of the experts in this field believe
global warming is responsible for the fuel that turned
Katrina from a slow moving tropical storm into one of
the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. The water
temperature in the Gulf was higher than normal, and
whether you believe in global warming or not, the
facts are the Caribbean and Gulf regions will be
dealing with more active hurricanes for at least the
next 15 years.

First of all, we usually think of hurricanes as highly
destructive wind storms, but it is the water that
kills people, animals and vegetation. It’s the storm
surge that produces flooding, such as what happened
in New Orleans, and storm surges produced the deadly
mudslides in the Caribbean island of Haiti last
summer.

Currently the Caribbean/Atlantic hurricane season
starts officially on June 1 and ends on November 30.
Hurricanes are uncommon in June, early July and
November, and the peak months are August, September
and October. But changes in the world’s climate
indicate that hurricane season could be extended to
include May and December. In the coming years, July
and November could be seen as peak months. The good
news is that tropical storms that develop at either
end of the season are usually weak.

Can you find a “storm free” vacation during the summer
months?

Most hurricanes form over the North Atlantic, coming
off the coast of Africa. They then head in a westerly
direction towards the Caribbean, then usually turn
north towards the U.S. coast. Some of the storms may
turn northwards in the open waters of the Atlantic
before reaching the islands of the Caribbean.

The islands of Trinidad and Tobago are located beyond
the southern end of the Windward Island chain, and
these two islands experience much less storms than in
the islands that lie further north. Barbados has also
been lucky in that the island has not experienced a
direct hit in over 20 years. The ABC islands of Aruba,
Bonaire and Curacao, are also located outside of the
usual hurricane belt, along with Margarita Island,
which is located just off the coast of Venezuela. The
Seychelle islands in the Indian Ocean have escaped
tropical storms by the close proximity to the Equator.

While the islands listed above have not seen recent
hurricane damage, there is no guarantee these islands
will always be completely safe during hurricane
season. However the chance of running into a hurricane
is actually very small – millions of people travel to
these areas and enjoy a wonderful tropical vacation.

Since 1995, the Atlantic hurricane season has been
above normal, which means more storm activity. From
1970 to 1994, the activity was below normal, and these
cycles come in 20 + year spans. So we will be dealing
with more active hurricane seasons for quite a few
years.

What to do if you are caught in a hurricane

Hurricanes do not come up suddenly, and there is at
least a 3 day warning on a specific, direct hit. Most
vacationers immediately leave their vacation spot when
threatened with a hurricane, however some will choose
to ride it out, or fail to realize there will be no
flights to get them out at the last minute if they
finally decide to leave.

When a hurricane approaches the first thing you need
to do is move far away from beach areas to avoid the
storm surge. Hurricanes season is nothing new to
Caribbean islanders, and many have dealt with plenty
of hurricanes before. The only advice that can be
given is to follow the directions of local officials,
and evacuate to the nearest storm shelter or
designated facility.

 

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