Extensive damage was caused to the British Virgin Islands by Hurricane Irma on September 6, and the islands were then further impacted by Hurricanes Jose and Maria.
As of October 17, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) no longer advise against all but essential travel to the British Virgin Islands. The State of Emergency has been lifted, but a curfew remains in force from 10pm to 6am as large areas lack electricity. The Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Tortola has now reopened to commercial flights between 7:30am and 5:30pm. Most sea ports are now open and some ferry services have resumed operations. However, the BVI Tourist Board is discouraging tourists from visiting the Territory until November 1 to allow time for progress to be made on the recovery and cleanup efforts. Check for UKFCO updates here for the latest warnings and advice.
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So we can best assist you, please be ready with the following:
The absolutely best way to survive a hurricane is to avoid one. Get away from it, but if you make the decision to leave make that decision early. Do not leave it until the last minute because you may find yourself caught without proper shelter.
If you decide to stay and "ride it out" it is advisable to get to an authorized shelter. The locations of these will be broadcast, or locals will know where they are. If there is no shelter, prepare to "shelter in place" in an internal room without windows.
Once a "storm watch" has been issued, make sure you are prepared in the event that the watch becomes a "warning."
During the storm
After the storm
There may be cover for you if you purchased your policy prior to the storm or hurricane being declared. Check your policy or call our customer assistance teams if you are unsure.
Coverage may vary depending on your place of residence and the level of cover you have purchased, however GENERALLY the cover and benefits of Trip Cancellation or Trip Interruption may assist you. If regular carriage services to your destination have ceased for 24 hours or more (so you can't get there) you may be able to make a claim. Check with our customer assistance teams.
Hurricane warnings have been posted for the Northern Caribbean as yet another strong storm forms in the Atlantic. Hurricane Maria was rated as category 1 on September 17th, but is expected to gather strength as it moves westwards - followig the path of hurricane Irma. Many of the island nations battered by Irma and Jose days later are in the path of maria... including the BVI where it is expected to make landfall on Tuesday 19th or Wednesday 20th September, 2017.
Consequently the UK government has issued a warning advising against all travel to the vacation destiunation for the time being. Because of the damage caused by Irma, which may be exacerbated by Maria, this advice is likely to stay in effect for some time. Check for UKFCO updates here for the latest warnings and advice.
Now classified as a Category 5, Hurricane Irma made landfall Wednesday morning in the Eastern Caribbean. The storm is now heading towards Puerto Rico and threatening St. Kitts and Nevis, the Virgin Islands, Hispaniola, and Cuba. Keep an eye on local media for the latest updates.
Travel warnings have been issued for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra, Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti, Guadeloupe, Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The United States has declared states of emergency in Florida, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico.
Aside from extremely strong winds, Hurricane Irma is likely to create a storm surge of 11 feet or more, and large, breaking waves. Heavy rains could cause life-threating flash floods and mudslides.
Be aware that now this is a named hurricane and emergencies have been declared in several places it may not be possible to purchase travel insurance to cover this event. To discuss your coverage please contact us at World Nomads.
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