Weather forecasters have already given the storm the nickname “Frakenstorm” due to Hurricane Sandy’s expected arrival so close to Halloween. The storm is currently a Category 1 hurricane, and, is barreling up the East coast of the United States. Regardless of where “Sandy” makes landfall air traffic, and, many other forms of mass transit will be effected in the greater New York Tri-state area.
Travelers should start being pro-active now by preparing for the worst. Here are a few tips:
- Most airlines now have apps for smartphones, and, sites such as Skyscanner offer free apps with flight schedules. Make sure you have at least one of these apps downloaded to your smartphone to keep up with the latest flight delays and cancellations. Be sure to have your airlines reservations number handy. This website offers toll-free numbers for most major airlines in the world: http://www.tollfreeairline.com/
- Don’t wait until the day of the storm or even a day before the storm’s arrival to rebook or extend your hotel reservations. (Especially in New York City which is entering its high season and hotels are in demand.) Just be sure you fully understand the hotel’s cancellation and no-show policies before making any changes or making a new reservation.
- Rental car agencies will be extremely busy as stranded travelers seek other means of transportation to their destinations. Make reservations at more than one rental car agency to raise your chances of getting a car when you show up. Check with each individual rental car agency regarding their no show and cancellation policies.
- AMTRAK and commuter train passengers should also expect delays, and, possible cancellations up and down the East coast. Keep abreast of updates by checking websites: AMTRAK service disruptions: http://www.amtrak.com/service-alerts-and-notices; NJ Transit Travel Alerts & Advisories: http://www.njtransit.com/sa/sa_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=TravelAlertsTo; and, NYC Subways, LIRR and Metro North Travel Advisories can be found on the MTA website: tripplanner.mta.info/serviceAlert.aspx
New York City’s Office of Emergency Management will have shelters available, and, a list can be found here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/hazards/storms_sheltering.shtml (If evacuation becomes necessary the Office of Emergency Management will also have that information available on their website.)
At this time it is unlikely that NYC and the surrounding area will not be impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Be smart and be prepared!