Puerto Rico Travel Alerts and Warnings

Check this page regularly for alerts and warnings that affect travel to Puerto Rico.

Post Hurricane Maria

Since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, it has taken some time to get essential services up and running on the island. San Juan has mostly improved however many parts of the country are still without sanitation, telecommunications and other services. Check with your government's travel advisory and Puerto Rico's tourism bureau for more information before you travel.

Hurricane Maria - September 22nd 2017

Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico on September 20 as a Category 4 storm, with winds up to 150 miles an hour. The hurricane caused widespread devastation and left almost the entire island without power. It may be months before power is fully restored. Maria also brought nearly 40 inches of rain to some areas of the island, causing severe flooding. More rain is expected through the weekend. Always check the latest information from the National Hurricane Center, and keep an eye on local media for the latest updates.

Worldwide 24-hour Emergency Assistance

Need assistance? Find the emergency contact telephone number for you.

So we can best assist you, please be ready with the following:

  • Your policy number
  • A contact number for where you are now
  • The nature of your problem
  • If you are ill or injured we will need details of medical consultations you have had

Caribbean Hurricane Warnings

Hurricane Maria is forecast to have a major impact on the entire northern Caribbean from the Leeward Islands through to The Bahamas.

A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when wind speeds reach 74 mph or greater - category 1.

  • Category 2 wind speeds are 96 mph to 110 mph
  • Category 3 - 111 mph to 129 mph
  • Category 4 - 130 mph to 156 mph
  • Category 5 - grater than 157 mph (note, there are no further categories.)

A "watch" is issued when hurricane-force winds are possible in the named region (so maybe a hurricance is coming.)

A "warning" is issued when hurricane-force winds are expected in the named region (so a hurricane is definitely coming.)

As of 11am EST Friday September 22nd these were the current alerts from the NOAA. Note the areas subject to a 'watch'or 'warning' will change as the hurricane moves and its true course becomes clear. Also note that predictions are made only for the next 5 days... regions further afield and subsequenty in the path of the hurricane may become subject to alerts. Always check the latest information from the National Hurricane Center.

How to Survive a Hurricane

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."

  • Fill the gas tank of your car.
  • Check batteries in flashlights and radios.
  • Have extra batteries on hand.
  • Secure all doors and windows.
  • Close shutters or board up the windows.
  • Have extra supplies on hand such as non-perishable food, clean drinking water, a half-gallon of water per person/per day (enough for a couple of days), and prescription drugs.

During the storm

  • Never go out during the storm. The winds can send flying debris into you causing injury and even death.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Keep on the alert for additional storm warnings. Hurricanes are known to spawn tornadoes so be prepared to take cover if one should strike.
  • While the storm is in progress avoid using electrical appliances.
  • Stay off the telephone.
  • All pets should be secure in carriers. The storm will be a frightening experience for them as well, and they could injure themselves or you if they panic.
  • Do not light candles or lanterns; they could get blown over causing a fire.
  • The eye of the storm passing over could make you think the storm is over when the worst is still yet to come. Only use this calm in an extreme emergency to make critical repairs.
  • Only after an official "all clear" has been issued is it safe to come out.

After the storm

  • Beware of downed power lines and gas leaks.
  • Stay away from heavily damaged areas.
  • Listen to your radio for instructions.

Am I Covered for a Hurricane?

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.

Older Alerts

Hurricane Irma - September 7, 2017

Category 5 Hurricane Irma passed north of Puerto Rico early this morning - the island was spared a direct hit, but a million people are currently without power. The storm is now heading towards Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and the US mainland. 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, Georgia, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico.

Along with extremely strong winds, Hurricane Irma is likely to create a storm surge of 11 feet or more, with 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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