How to Stay Safe if a Natural Disaster Strikes During Your Trip

Due to the increase of natural disasters, such as hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes and wildfires, there can be little to no warning signs when it comes to the threat of severe weather. Thankfully, there are several ways to prepare if a natural disaster threatens to disrupt your travel plans, and we’ve gathered helpful tips for you to keep in mind if severe weather or natural disaster strikes your vacation.


Research weather risks for your destination

Be sure to research your travel destination’s severe weather risks for the time of year you plan on traveling and how it may affect your destination. Check the weather report of your travel destination in advance for the days you’ll be away and know the warning signs of common natural disasters in your destination. Also, if you live in an area prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes prepare your home before leaving and check if there will be any severe weather warnings in your hometown while you are away.


Share travel plans with your trusted contacts

In the event of an emergency, it is helpful for trusted family or friends back home to have a copy of your travel itinerary, so they will have the contact information for your hotel, your flight numbers, your travel insurance details and also a general idea of planned activities on your trip. Check your government’s website and if the option is available to enroll your international trip, your embassy can contact you in the event of an emergency and help your trusted contacts get in touch with you. For instance, U.S. citizens and nationals can register their international trip with the U.S. Department of State.


Download helpful apps and have paper copies

Even though you will have handy travel apps on your phone it is beneficial to have paper copies of important documents if something happens to your phone. Take paper copies of your passport, flight information, hotel confirmations, physical map and other important documents with you and seal in a weatherproof bag if possible. Keep these documents safe and out of sight as they have confidential information on them. Additional helpful apps to download in case of a natural disaster:


Research travel insurance early

Consider buying a Travel Guard® travel insurance plan with Trip Exchange and Trip Saver coverages available on our Deluxe Plan and Preferred Plan. These are great options to adjust travel dates without having to cancel due to severe weather. Travel insurance may also cover the expenses incurred because of delays due to severe weather events. Additionally, reasonable accommodations and travel expenses may be covered until travel becomes possible. Our travel insurance plans include 24/7 emergency assistance services that can coordinate efforts on your behalf when you need it and many include coverage benefits to transport you safely home.


Additional travel preparedness tips

Create a travel emergency plan with flexibility since you and your travel companions won’t always have control of the situation if a natural disaster disrupts your vacation. Pack a travel-friendly first aid kit or buy one upon arrival. Bring a portable power bank to charge your phone if the power goes down. Have cash on hand just in case ATMs and credit/debit machines are unavailable.


If a natural disaster strikes during your travels

Stay calm and closely monitor the situation and make sure you have access to a radio, TV or mobile device for frequent updates on severe weather. Be patient and keep in close contact with your tour operator, travel insurance provider, hotel staff and regularly listen to local stations to know about emergency procedures from officials. If possible, enable location-sharing on your phone with loved ones back home so they can see your location or frequently contact them so they know of your situation. Try to stock up on some basic supplies (water, non-perishable food, flashlight with extra batteries) if you need to shelter in place at your accommodations.

While you might be tempted to venture outside and try to take videos or pictures of impacts from a natural disaster, AIG Travel advocates for safety while traveling and advises travelers to avoid taking pictures in dangerous situations. If flooding occurs, do not walk or drive through flooded areas or across downed power lines and watch out for hazardous aftereffects from the disaster.

Be sure to pack a Travel Guard® travel insurance plan from AIG Travel to enjoy your vacation with confidence. In the event of a natural disaster, travel insurance may provide coverage under the Trip Cancellation benefit so that you may be reimbursed for the prepaid, forfeited, nonrefundable trip costs up to the limit of the coverage purchased. Many travel insurance plans also come with 24/7 assistance services to rebook cancelled flights and help you get to safety. For more information, visit, call Travel Guard at 1-800-826-1300 or contact your travel advisor.

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Coverage available to U.S. residents of the U.S. states and District of Columbia only. This plan provides insurance coverage that only applies during the covered trip. You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits but may be subject to different restrictions depending upon your other coverages. You may wish to compare the terms of this policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer or insurance agent or broker. Coverage is offered by Travel Guard Group, Inc. (Travel Guard). California lic. no.0B93606, 3300 Business Park Drive, Stevens Point, WI 54482, CA DOI toll free number: 800-927-HELP. This is only a brief description of the coverage(s) available. The Policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. Insurance underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., a Pennsylvania insurance company, with its principal place of business at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, 37th FL, New York, NY 10020-1304. It is currently authorized to transact business in all states and the District of Columbia. NAIC No. 19445. Coverage may not be available in all states. Your travel retailer may not be licensed to sell insurance, and cannot answer technical questions about the benefits, exclusions, and conditions of this insurance and cannot evaluate the adequacy of your existing insurance. The purchase of travel insurance is not required in order to purchase any other product or service from the Travel Retailer.