We’re officially moving into peak hurricane season. With a tropical storm forming off in the Atlantic, it’s a good idea to review your packing list if you’re planning on a Central Florida vacation over the next few months. Ponchos are an absolute must, but realize you will be getting wet, so comfortable walking shoes and clothes that dry quickly are advisable too.
If you are unlucky enough to be visiting Central Florida when a powerful storm arrives, be prepared to hunkerdown. Send someone out a day or two in advance to get some supplies as you might be stuck in your hotel room for 24-48 hours. A gallon of water per person, some glow sticks, and meals you can eat without cooking or refrigeration are good. Books and games to play would be good too. During the storm stay away from windows and don’t go outside. It may look safe, but its not.
Don’t fret too much about losing days in the parks. Over the past few years, the parks have been empty the day before and after the storm hits, so while you may lose a day, you get two days with the parks practically to yourself. Also, if you absolutely have to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom on your trip, make sure to visit before the storm hits. Due to the large amount of foilage and the extra care required for the animals, DAK is the slowest of the parks to reopen after a storm. Remember the cast members all endured the hurricane too. Some have come into work and left their families to deal with any clean up because a paycheck and health insurance is more important to them then repairing their home immediately. So enjoy the odd comradery that brings.
Disney World suffered a pretty much direct hit from a hurricane a few years ago and came out fine. Some of the hotels nearby, however, did not fare as well. So your mileage may vary depending on where you’re staying and where the storm hits.
If a named storm is on the way and you’ve scheduled your vacation for the exact same time should you reschedule? That’s a personal decision, but I think that as long as you’re prepared and stay safe indoors during the storm you don’t have much to worry about.