Check this page regularly for alerts and warnings that affect travel to the United States.

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Hurricane Michael - October 2018

Hurricane Michael is currently strengthening as it heads towards the Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to become a Category 3 system, before making landfall in the Florida Panhandle (NW of the state) and then tracking across Georgia and the Carolinas.

A state of emergency has been declared in the following states and locations: Florida, Alabama, southern Georgia, North and South Carolina.

Mandatory evacuations are being announced by authorities in northwestern parts of Florida as the hurricane looms closer to shore, bringing heavy rain, strong winds and dangerous storm surges. Flights have been cancelled as several airports in Florida close in preparation for the hurricane.

Please check with authorities for more information, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities means you won't be covered by travel insurance. 

For World Nomads customers, if you have not purchased a policy prior to October 9, 2018 10am Australian Eastern Standard Time and are impacted by the hurricane, you will not be covered.

Reopening of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park - September 2018

US National Parks staff have reopened Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in time for the annual National Public Lands Day on September 22nd, 2018, with assessments and repairs on trails, facilities, roads and other infrastructure being made. For more information, visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii County Civil Defense with United States National Parks have closed Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (except for Kahuku Unit), including popular locations such as Jagger Museum, Kilauea Visitors Center, Thurston Lava Tube, Kilauea Iki, Volcano House and Chain of Craters Road until further notice due to the high volcanic risk to locals and travelers. Lava has already blocked several roads into the National Park.

Rockfalls and pyroclastic eruptions continue to occur at the Halema‘uma‘u crater (located near the Jaggar Museum) also resulting in increased ash and volcanic gas activity. As a result, the Kilauea Summit area is closed for safety reasons.

Mauna Loa Road is closed due to damage on Highway 11 and increased seismic activity in the area. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park reports that the road could be closed for at least two months.

The national park's operating hours have changed while volcano activity remains high. If you are still planning on visiting the park, it's important that you pay attention to all information and directives from park staff and authorities as conditions can change with little or no warning. Check local media and reports from authorities before heading to the park.

For further information, check out USGS's Kilauea update and US National Parks alerts page.

Please heed all official directives and warnings. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities means you won't be covered by travel insurance.

Kilauea's Activity

On the Big Island of Hawaii, the Kilauea volcano has been erupting non-stop since 1983, on occasions causing damage to property and homes of those who live in its shadow.

On May 3, lava erupted from three fissure vents in the Leilani Estates area and continuing volcanic activity has seen another seventeen fissures open up. 

In the lead up to the eruption and the opening of several fissures, volcanologists have been monitoring the lava lake within Kilauea and seismic activity. Earthquakes still continue to rumble the area with a magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurring on May 4 which was felt on the other side of Big Island. Since then, more than 500 further earthquakes have been reported.

Authorities have put roadblocks in place due to the high risk of lava flowing towards homes and businesses, and many residents have been evacuated to emergency shelters. There is a high risk of exposure to volcanic gases, including sulfur dioxide, due to the high level of volcanic activity. Ash plumes have also emitted from the summit and Pu'u O'o craters, which can cause respiratory issues. General face masks will not adequately block out the volcanic gases.

Authorities have issued an aviation red alert, which means there's a likelihood of volcanic ash interfering with aircraft operations in the region. Intending travelers should check with their airline for updates on interruptions to services. Check your policy wording for terms and conditions relating to cancellation and delay coverage, and be aware a "cut-off" date for coverage may have been applied as this is now a "known event".

There is increased risk of sulfur dioxide exposure with more volcanic fissures opening up and existing ones reactivating. Experts are continuing to monitor the volcano due to the high risk of an eruption as the lava lake within the main crater continues to subside down towards the water table.

Older Alerts

Hurricane Florence - September 2018

Category 2 Hurricane Florence is currently tracking slowly towards the US southeast coast, with a state of emergency declared in Virginia, North and South Carolina, Maryland and District of Columbia. East Georgia will also feel the brunt of Florence. The winds of Florence are already impacting these states with storm surge and flooding.

The eye of the hurricane is estimated to cross the coast in North Carolina on Friday 14th September as a category 4 storm with strong winds, dangerous surf, flooding and the potential for landslides.
Evacuations continue to occur along the affected coastline, with over one million people leaving Virginia and the Carolinas so far.

More than 1300 flights have been cancelled to the affected area. Please check with your airline for more information plus terms and conditions regarding your flight. Affected airports are either allowing last flights to depart or are closed in preparation for the hurricane's impact. Infrastructure and transport services will also be affected.

Due to the hurricane's slow movement, authorities have indicated that rescue and rehabilitation efforts will be significantly hampered due to the sustained weather.

Please check with authorities for more information, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities means you won't be covered by travel insurance. 

For World Nomads customers, if you have not purchased a policy prior to September 10, 2018 4:30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time and are impacted by the hurricane, you will not be covered.

Hurricane Olivia - September 2018

Hurricane Olivia was downgraded to a Tropical Storm before it made landfall in Hawaii. Flash flooding warnings are still in place for many Hawaiian counties and there are also warnings for dangerous surf conditions. Many roads and access points are currently cut off and services unavailable.

Category 1 Hurricane Olivia is currently 435 miles east of Hilo on Big Island and slowly moving ~9mph (15km/h) sustaining 75mph (120km/h) winds. It's due to pass near or through the Hawaiian Islands on Tuesday or Wednesday.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect in some areas of Hawaii and flooding is considered a significant threat as areas have received a large volume of rain from recent Hurricane Lane.

Please check with authorities, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities means you won't be covered by travel insurance.

Hurricane Lane - August 2018

Hurricane Lane is currently tracking across the Pacific Ocean and now heading in the direction of Hawaii. The hurricane strengthened to a Category 4 on Tuesday and is estimated to impact the islands Wednesday - Thursday with strong winds, dangerous surf, flooding and the potential for landslides. Hawaii's Big Island and Maui are on hurricane watch.

Please check with authorities, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities means you won't be covered by travel insurance.

For World Nomads customers, if you have not purchased a policy prior to August 22nd, 2018 9am Australian Eastern Standard Time and are impacted by the hurricane, you will not be covered.

Yosemite National Park Wildfire - August 2018

UPDATE: The Valley floor in Yosemite National Park has now reopened. However some roads into the park still remain closed. For further information, check out the Yosemite N.P site.

Tourists have been evacuated from Yosemite National Park due to a large out-of-control wildfire which has burnt through 1,500 hectares of forest in the Yosemite Valley and Wawona areas of the national park, producing thick smoke. Authorities are closing the park from Wednesday 25 July until Sunday 29 July (this extended for a further three weeks) The Ferguson fire started on 13 July and has since spread across thousands of hectares. 

July is one of the busiest months for tourists to Yosemite with an estimated 600,000 people visiting to experience its natural wonders. Highlights include the towering mountain peaks and rock formations, such as the famous El Capitan and Half Dome, plus its abundant wildlife.

Please check with authorities, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities means you won't be covered by travel insurance.

Powerful Storms to Hit Eastern and Western US Coasts - March 1, 2018

A major nor'easter is set to strike the US east coast from Maine to the Carolinas on Friday and Saturday, bringing heavy rain and coastal flooding. Up to 10 inches of snow may fall in upstate New York. In Califonia, a blizzard warning has been announced for the Sierra Nevada range, where up to seven feet of snow is predicted Thursday and Friday. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Santa Barbara County, in Southern California, due to the risk of flash floods and mudslides from the steady rain.

Travelers should expect hazardous conditions and be prepared for power outages, flight cancellations, and delays.

Am I Covered If a Winter Storm Interrupts My Trip?

US residents

If severe weather causes you to experience delayed or missed flights or requires you to cut your trip short or cancel it entirely, World Nomads insurance can help you recoup your travel expenses. Check out this Helpdesk article for details on what's covered, and how to make a claim.

Canadian Residents

World Nomads will cover you for trip interruption if your flight is delayed for three hours or canceled due to inclement weather. We cover:

  • Your non-refundable, prepaid trip arrangements
  • Additional travel transportation (via the most cost-effective itinerary) to return you home or to your departure point
  • Your economy-class transportation via the most cost-effective itinerary to your next destination

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.

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 secured 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.

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1 Comment

  • Karen Dierking said

    I am having trouble getting a price for insurance

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