There is no way to sugarcoat it. Hurricane Irma, potentially the strongest ever hurricane to be recorded in the Atlantic Ocean is outside of the Carribean Sea is now headed towards the east coast of the United States. A category 5 hurricane, Irma’s speeds have topped 185 mph. As the east coast residents prepare for what is potentially going to be a devastating landfall, residents of various Caribbean islands including the Dominican Republic and Santo Domingo are already equally bracing for its impact. So how do you prepare for hurricane Irma, especially if you are on vacation in the Caribbean? Well, here are a few useful tips.
Know what is going on
Being on top of things and knowing when the hurricane is going to make a landfall is ideally the first step towards ensuring your safety during the storm. Make use of resources and applications like the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center, the Weather Channel, and Hurricane App. With the Hurricane App, you will be able to track the hurricane’s latest coordinates, distance from the storm’s current location to your hotel in miles, satellite images and much more. Information is power. Know what is going and stay safe.
Listen to instructions;
Do not get out of your hotel room when you have been advised to stay indoors – seriously. If authorities are directing you to stay away from the beach or seek shelter, do not be rebellious. This is not the time to defy instructions or doubt the storm’s power. Sign up for alerts that will advise you when it is time to evacuate or seek shelter.
Find a hotel with weather guarantee;
Most Carribean hotels offer incentives to book at their hotel during the hurricane season. Some hotels offer room upgrades while others waiver resort fees. Even if the hotel you are currently staying in has not advertised these deals, ask the front desk to see if they have any upgrade that will help improve your experience while at the hotel.
Know your evacuation zone asap ;
Most Caribbean resorts have designated evacuation zones to get visitors away to safety when the hurricane hits. Find out your hotel’s or resort’s evacuation zone from the reception. Knowing and locating your evacuation zone ahead of time will help you stay knowledgeable and calm in the face of the storm should there be a need for evacuation. At this point, it is not very clear whether Hurricane Irma will hit Punta Cana and Puerto Plata, and how powerful it will be. However, preparing for the worst-case scenario will give you some peace of mind in the meantime.
Besides seeking shelter and getting out of harm’s way, most people tend to forget the essentials until it is too late, or when they are desperately needed. For instance, if you rented a car for your vacation, ensure it has enough gas. This way, you will avoid long queues, or in worse case, if power is cut, no gas at all. Stock up drinking water and food if you are living in a self-service hotel. In addition, take out enough money from the ATM; again, should there be a power outage, the extra cash will become more valuable than gold.
Hurricanes can take anyone by surprise. This was particularly clear last week when Hurricane Harvey took Texas, and the city of Houston, by storm. And now, with Hurricane Irma already wreaking havoc in the Caribbean island, people should know how to prepare for this catastrophe – just in case it will be as destructive as experts are forecasting it to be. Keep in mind, however, that there are just tips to help you with your vacation. Since no one can control the weather, the best you can do is prepare for the unexpected. Be safe, follow instructions and seek shelter when advised to do so. Hopefully, these tips will help your dream Dominican Republic vacation from turning into a nightmare!