Check this page regularly for alerts and warnings that affect travel to the United States. What's happening and are you covered for it?

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Hawaii Kilauea Volcano Eruption - May 2018

UPDATE 16th May:

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.

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.

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 Thurston Lava Tube, Kilauea Iki 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 continue to occur sporadically at the Halema‘uma‘u crater (located near the Jaggar Museum) resulting in increased ash and volcanic gas activity. If you have respiratory issues, you should avoid the area.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park 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.

Older Alerts

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

Monster Storm Off East Coast - January 3, 2018

A severe, rapidly intensifying storm is predicted to hit the East Coast of the United States beginning late today. The National Weather Service has announced that snow, ice, strong winds, and coastal flooding will affect an area spanning from Florida all the way to New England.

Travelers and residents in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida can expect a mix of snow, sleet, and icy rain, creating potentially hazardous conditions. Motorists should avoid unnecessary driving, and be very careful on the roads, especially over bridges.

Later this week, a major blizzard is forecast to hit parts of New England and New Brunswick, Canada. 

Severe Weather December 11, 2017

Winter has come early to many parts of the US, with a recent storm leaving a 2,000-mile swath of snow across the Southeast and East, and blanketing areas like Houston, Texas and the Florida panhandle that rarely see snow. 

Additionally, a series of clipper storms from Canada will bring snow and create slippery conditions from the Great Lakes to the Northeast early this week.

In addition, snow storms across Europe are causing flight delays and cancellations.

Wildfires - Northern California Wine Country, October 11, 2017

Intense wildfires are burning in several Northern California counties, including Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Yuba counties, and have caused devastation across much of the wine country. At least 2,000 structures have been destroyed, including homes, businesses, hotels, and wineries. Mandatory evacuations have been issued for several areas. Due to the fast-moving and unpredictable nature of these fires, along with potential road closures and unsafe air quality, travelers should avoid unnecessary travel to the region until the fires are contained. Check local media for the latest updates.

Tropical Storm Nate – US Gulf Coast, October 6, 2017

Tropical Storm Nate was upgraded from a tropical depression on October 5. The storm is forecast to reach the northern Gulf Coast on late Saturday or early Sunday as a hurricane. A hurricane warning is now in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border. People along the US Gulf Coast should monitor the progress of Nate closely and heed any advice given by local officials. 

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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