Hurricane Irma: What Traveling Families Need to Know

We watched Hurricane Irma slowly brew over the weekend and grow from a Category 3 to a Category 5 hurricane nearly overnight. For those traveling in or around Irma’s path, here is what you need to know.

Irma is currently moving through the Caribbean at a Category 5 level with wind speeds of more than 180 mph. Forecasts show Irma could hit the mainland United States, beginning in Florida. For those traveling in or around Florida and the East Coast, best bet would be to get out before the weekend.

Whether cutting the vacation short or moving clear of Irma’s path, the sooner the better as the storm already has Florida on high alert. With Florida Gov. Rick Scott declaring a state of emergency, stores are running low on emergency supplies. Locals and tourists have packed up and evacuated in preparation of the storm.

Unfortunately, it looks as though the storm could hit the West or East coast of Florida, by this weekend so for those driving, heading north would be ideal. For those flying, check online for dates and times and try to be out of the state before Friday.

Florida state officials are taking the threat of the storm seriously and expect to have more than 1,000 National Guard troops on site for evacuation and recovery efforts. Scott stressed in a briefing to Floridians, “do not sit and wait” as the storm could affect the entire state.

Puerto Rico already declared a state of emergency and activated its National Guard preparations. The island expects to lose power for what could be weeks or months from the impending devastation.

The Atlantic Ocean is currently being pounded with three storms, Hurricane Irma, and tropical storms Jose and Katia. Tropical storm Jose could turn into a hurricane in the next few days, but it is too soon to tell. What is clear is the impending damage of Irma tearing through Puerto Rico, Florida and the East Coast. This storm may be the largest in recorded history covering, more than 65,000 square miles. We recommend contacting your travel providers immediately to make plans to either cut short or delay travel.