Hurricane season starts May 15 and extends through to November 30. Although the temperatures are still warm, tropical storms have the potential to develop in the North Atlantic and northeast Pacific Oceans.
Catastrophic storms, like we saw last September with Category 5 storms Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, can wreak havoc on infrastructure and cut off communications, which in turn disrupts reliable means of transportation, access to emergency aid or medical care, and even food and water.
Travelling during hurricane season doesn't mean you're guaranteed to experience a Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane.
But there are still steps you can take and ways to prepare, should you be visiting the Caribbean islands, Mexico, Central America, or the Gulf Coast in the United States.
The Government of Canada recommends the following:
- Consult the Travel Advice and Advisories section at least twice: while planning your trip and just before you go, to verify that it is safe to travel to your destination.
- Purchase travel insurance and ensure your insurance allows for trip cancellation or interruption in the event of a hurricane.
- Ensure that detailed information is left with family or friends in Canada, including the name of the tour operator, flight details, hotel name, location and telephone number, and itinerary.
- Ensure that emergency contact information is provided on page four of your passport and leave copies of all travel documents and insurance details with someone in Canada.
- Sign up for the Registration of Canadians Abroad service so that we can contact and assist you in case of an emergency abroad or at home.
- Before you go, find the location and contact information for the Canadian embassy or consulate closest to your destination.
- Visit the Canadian Hurricane Centre website for recommendations on hurricane preparedness.
- Obtain up-to-date weather forecasts for the region from the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
- Monitor local news broadcasts and weather reports carefully and follow the advice of local authorities and tour operators when you are abroad.
- Carry contact details for our Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa, which operates 24/7 and accepts collect calls (where available) from Canadians requiring emergency assistance abroad at +1 (613) 996 8885 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.travel.gc.ca.