Travel Fear: Natural Disasters

It’s our last Spooky Saturday, folks! We’re rounding out this series with the most dramatic of travel fears: the ever-unpredictable natural disaster.

Let’s be real for a moment. Natural disasters are indeed unpredictable, but we are not immune to them in our homes in the United States. The whole East Coast, Gulf Coast, and Hawaii regularly brace for impact from hurricanes. The South (where I grew up) is subject to tornadoes and flooding. California, Oklahoma, and even DC have had earthquakes in recent years. Blizzards shut down operations throughout the country.

Wait a minute. Does that mean I’m not safe from natural disasters even at home? Does that also mean using natural disasters as an excuse not to travel is a bit silly? Yes and yes! Here are a few more reasons why natural disasters should not keep you from traveling.

 1. Hurricanes are seasonal and relatively predictable.

Hurricanes come in seasons. And that’s one kind of weather that weathermen and weatherwomen  LOVE to watch and talk about! Not sure when hurricane season is? Do a quick Internet search for your destination before you book your tickets and find out that region’s severe weather season so you can plan accordingly. Just because the Caribbean may have severe storms in September doesn’t mean you shouldn’t book that cruise for April instead!

 2. Earthquakes are not at all predictable, it seems.

But they are also not terribly frequent. Japan, Italy, and Nepal have experienced some devastating earthquakes in recent years, but overall, they don’t have earthquakes frequently enough to refuse traveling to these countries. People travel there every day and have wonderful, non-earthquake experiences!

3. Tsunamis are a bit more predictable than earthquakes that cause them.

A tsunami can happen because of an under water landslide, a volcanic eruption, or most frequently an under water earthquake. The good news is, we know when they’re coming! They are not all that common, but if you happen to be one of the lucky ones in the way, you will have sufficient warning to either get to safety or simply leave the area.

4. Volcanos!

I’ll be the first to say I’m thrilled that my husband and I plan to visit Volcanos National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii for our anniversary next year! While volcanos can literally be a hot mess, they can also be a tourist attraction! Yes, the volcano in Reykjevik shut down air travel to and around Europe for a while back in 2010, but other active volcanos like Kilauea on Hawaii are prime for visiting! It’s one of the most active volcanos in the world, erupting continuously since January 1983. People still live and work on the island, and the volcano is a huge draw for tourists like me!

Kilauea Volcanic Activity; Photo Credit: Vanessa Mount
Kilauea Volcanic Activity; Photo Credit: Vanessa Mount
5. Blizzards are a romantic opportunity waiting to happen.

Don’t let getting snowed in be a deterrent to visiting the great white north or beautiful mountain ranges. Being caught in an avalanche is highly unlikely, and even if you do get snowed in for a few days, think of the fun! You can snuggle with your loved one by the fire, play indoor games, or veg out and binge watch your favorite shows and movies online if you really can’t think of anything better to do. Think of it as forced relaxation if you must. But seriously, it’s very unlikely. You’re more likely to get snowed in around the DC/Northern VA area in January and February than you are in a place where they get snow all the time!

Post-round 2 of back to back blizzards in Alexandria, VA; February 2010

Have I missed your biggest natural disaster fear? Did you like the series? Comment below to let me know about it!

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