Friday, March 4, 2011
Visiting Puerto Rico is always exciting but this time we had an unexpected dose of excitement. The day we were scheduled to leave, Hurricane Earl arrived with gusting winds and a vicious downpour. I've experienced many tornadoes but never a hurricane so I was a little dumbstruck. What exactly do you do during a hurricane? Of course, El Conquistador Resort staff is used to dealing with hurricanes so all the electricity was shut off and guests were advised to stay inside. As the palm trees bowed with the powerful winds and buckets of rain puddled everywhere we stepped, we stood in a long line to check out. Dozens of panicked travelers were trying to book early flights to escape Earl but we already had our flight and we didn't worry. We flew safely back home and when we arrived, news shows flashed images of El Conquistador, which was located in the heart of the hurricane, as well as mudslides and flooding on the Eastern side of the island. We had apparently just missed disaster. If I ever meet another hurricane here's what I will do:
*Stay indoors, in the center of a house, away from windows
* Turn off all electricity, including computers
* Stay away from all electrical equipment including phones
* Don't shower or take a bath during the hurricane
*Be aware of the "eye" of the storm, when everything is calm. Worse winds blow from the opposite direction.
*Be alert for tornadoes, which often happen during or after hurricanes
*Stay away from flood waters.
Those tips are courtesy of the American Red Cross an organization that knows a thing or two about handling natural disasters., Have you ever witnessed a hurricane or other disaster while traveling?