Before you travel…

You are all pumped and excited to visit South Florida, the Florida Keys, and Key West; and believe me, we are excited to have you here!! However, when traveling during the summer and fall months, it is important to monitor the situation in the Atlantic basin. That’s right. June 1st through November 30th is Hurricane Season.

When traveling during Hurricane Season, there are several things to keep track of and be aware of to keep your vacation safe for everyone!

  1. Monitor the Atlantic Basin in the weeks and days preceding your travel time. The National Hurricane Center is constantly monitoring and tracking any and all tropical disturbances including lows, waves, depressions, storms, and full blown hurricanes. When monitoring an area before it develops into a named storm, the area will be highlighted according to chance of becoming a storm within 48 hours in yellow (low chance of development), orange (medium chance of development), and red (high chance of development).
    You can also watch the Weather Channel for their Tropical Update, or call us, or the local Weather Service – 305-295-1324 for information on areas of interest a-brewin’ in the Caribbean.
    The view when the NHC is monitoring areas of low pressure. The areas of interest will be circled in yellow, orange, or red indicating the likeliness of developing into a tropical cyclone.
  2. Be cognizant of the policies and procedures of your lodging/accommodations in the case of a pending storm, or in the case of a storm developing while you are here. Know their refund/reschedule policies and closing policies. Same goes for any activities you may have reserved such as swimming with dolphins, snorkeling, diving, or boat rentals. Each business should have a plan set for the case of storms.

    The view of the NHC Graphical Outlook when there is a named storm floating around in the basin. This is (recently formed) Gabrielle over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola along with some other areas of interest. Don't worry; Gabrielle's estimated track is taking her away from the Eastern seaboard.
    The view of the NHC Graphical Outlook when there is a named storm floating around in the basin. This is (recently formed) Gabrielle over Puerto Rico and Hispaniola along with some other areas of interest. Don’t worry; Gabrielle’s estimated track is taking her away from the Eastern seaboard.

While you are here…

If a storm should head our way while you are here, don’t panic!!  There are precautions in place to keep EVERYONE safe. It is very important that you heed warnings and evacuation orders as soon as possible after they are issued. There is an order to these steps to ensure everyone, visitors and residents alike, are able to evacuate the island chain in the safest most organized manner possible. Hurricanes are unlike other dangerous storms such as tornadoes in that we are able to determine the path of the storm and it’s estimated level of power days before the first rain cloud even rolls in.
Visitors are generally the first evacuated from the area so that businesses, such as hotels and attractions, have plenty of time to prepare their properties for storms – putting up shutters, bringing in beach and outdoor furniture, trimming down trees, etc – as well as allowing staff the time to prepare their own homes and families.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of shelters and safe places to evacuate to when you are exiting the area.

Hurricanes are powerful and can be extremely destructive, so it is absolutely imperative that evacuations and preparations are executed as soon as possible when a storm is projected to impact the area. Here are a few resources for storm monitoring and information:

The National Hurricane Center – http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

The Weather Service Key West – 305-295-1324

The Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce (for the latest advisories): 305-743-5417

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