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Hurricane-Proofing Your Vacation

UPDATED August 30, 2013

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, John Bateman

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Ah, summer - the time for warm weather, summer break, and family vacations. Summer is also, unfortunately, the start of hurricane season. If a coastal or tropical destination is in your travel plans, there are several things you can do ahead of time to keep these dangerous storms from ruining your hard-earned vacation.

First, know when hurricane season is.

Officially the Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 through November 30, with the Eastern Pacific season starting two weeks earlier, on May 15th. Hurricanes have formed as early as March and as late as December, but this is very rare. Even during the hurricane season, most hurricanes and tropical storms form in just two of those months, August and September, with their numbers dropping quickly in October. Any coastal vacation should be planned with these months in mind, knowing that going to the beach in late summer can come with a risk.

Next, know the destinations that are most prone to hurricanes and tropical storms.

Obviously almost any coastal location in the Tropics can be threatened by these storms, but some are hit more often than others. Traveling to the beaches of the Gulf Coast, Southeast, Caribbean, and Mexico can be relaxing, but they come with a risk during hurricane season. Even places you don`t normally think of as "tropical" can be hit by these storms, places like the Carolinas, the Northeast and coastal New England. Along with that, some locations are more vulnerable, especially small islands and low-lying destinations, which are more prone to a storm surge and can lack escape routes.

Check into getting hurricane insurance for your vacation.

Vacation hurricane insurance isn`t really "insurance" in a traditional sense. It basically reimburses you if a hurricane ruins your vacation. This insurance can be found on-line and through travel agents, and usually covers the cost of things such as hotel bills, meals, and other travel expenses. Note: Be sure to read the fine print!

Lastly, go to "beachy" places that aren`t typically threatened by hurricanes.

Coastal places such as California and Hawaii are rarely, if ever, threatened by hurricanes. Hawaii has hit hard by Hurricane Iniki more than 20 years ago, but this was a rather exceptional occurrence. Tropical Caribbean islands such as Grenada, Aruba, or Barbados lie generally outside of the "hurricane belt" and very rarely get struck by tropical systems. Coastal South America and the Mediterranean are also coastal locations that almost never see tropical storms or hurricanes affecting them.

Be sure to check with WeatherBug often for the latest information on the 2013 Hurricane Season. Get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter at @WeatherBug.

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Story image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Averette

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