So far, the 2015 hurricane season (which runs through November) has been pretty mild, but with warnings about Hurricane Joaquin heading toward the Bahamas, we’re turning our attention to what steps travelers can take to prepare for the worst. If you’re headed for a hurricane-prone island this fall, Budget Travel suggests the following precautions:
* First, double-check the cancellation and refund policies of the airlines, hotels and car rental companies you are booking for your trip.
* Make sure your travel insurance policy covers delayed flights and weather-related trip disruptions and cancellations.
* If the hurricane happens before your trip, you'll want to make sure that your travel insurance plan includes trip cancellation for hurricanes and natural disasters and that it will refund you any pre-paid non-refundable trip expenses if you have to cancel before your scheduled departure due to a hurricane.
* Read the fine print. The policy has to be purchased pre-hurricane in order to cover for the hurricane.
* You can purchase “cancel-for-any-reason” insurance, which lets you decide whether you want to risk travel when a storm is being predicted.
* If you do head off to the Caribbean in the midst of a hurricane warning, pack an emergency kit: cash, a radio and batteries, a flashlight and batteries, non-perishable food and water for three days, rain gear, bug repellant, sunscreen, and any prescription meds you need. (Yes, this will all take up space in your luggage, but you’ll appreciate it if/when the time comes that you need it.)
* And, of course, always keep your eye on the experts at The Weather Channel for up-to-the-minute forecasts and breaking news.