June 1st is the official start of hurricane season. Every year the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts the number and severity of tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes for the 6 month season. In 2011, NOAA expects an above average number of storms. The following is an excerpt from a story posted on NOAA’s website discussing this year’s hurricane season.
Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is predicting the following ranges this year:
- 12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which:
- 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including:
- 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher)
Each of these ranges has a 70 percent likelihood, and indicate that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
“The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season’s tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “However we can’t count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook.”
Many people are concerned about hurricane season and how it will impact their summer travel plans. Travel insurance helps protect the financial investment of a vacation if a trip has to be cancelled.
First, it is important to note, a travel insurance policy must be purchased before a storm is considered foreseeable. This normally means before a storm is named.
To find the best hurricane & weather coverage, compare the following coverage terminology and consider which best protects your vacation against cancellation and interruption.
Complete cessation of common carrier – A common carrier is ticketed, public transportation such as an airline, cruise or train. The stoppage of service normally must be for a set amount of time, usually 24 or 48 hours.
Inclement weather – This language is similar to complete cessation of common carrier, with fewer restrictions. Inclement weather means any severe weather condition which delays the scheduled arrival or departure of a common carrier.
Accommodation at destination made uninhabitable – The accommodation is lodging where the traveler plans to stay overnight during the trip. Coverage can be available if a natural disaster renders the house, hotel, condo or other lodging unable to be occupied.
Mandatory evacuation – This is a directive from a local governing body for everyone to leave the area. This can be a city, county, municipality or other. The directive must be a mandate and not an advisement or warning for this language to apply. Some plans require that less than 50% of the trip be remaining after the evacuation ends in order to cancel the trip.
Hurricane warning – Within 24 hours of departure, if NOAA issues a hurricane warning at the destination, then the trip can be cancelled.