AAA: Hurricane Michael Likely to Impact East Coast Travel and Potentially Gas Prices
Prepare for potential travel disruptions and a temporary spike in gas prices
As Hurricane Michael makes landfall along the Florida Panhandle, AAA advises local travelers to plan ahead, keep an eye on weather conditions and put safety first. Though the storm is not expected to have a significant impact on weather in Connecticut, AAA urges travelers to check with their travel agent and travel providers for cancellation policies and itinerary changes.
Motorists could also notice a temporary spike in gas prices should Hurricane Michael disrupt oil production and refining in the Gulf of Mexico.
AAA Hurricane Preparedness Tips
- Safety. Travelers should heed all official evacuation advisories and orders. If you are flying, check with your airline on their change fee and rebooking policies. Check your flight status before leaving for the airport and consider signing up for text or mobile alerts from your airline for the latest flight information.
- Contact your travel agent – they will have access to the latest travel updates/cancellations and can help you explore all of the options available to you.
- Investigate cancellation/rebooking options NOW. (Plan ahead, understand the situation may change quickly as the storm approaches.)
- Understand cancellation requirements and penalties if applicable.
- Know what coverage any purchased travel insurance does/does not provide.
- Continuously monitor the situation as things can change quickly and dramatically.
Gas supplies are likely to tighten in the Gulf Coast portion of the Florida panhandle and surrounding areas impacted by the hurricane. The severity of the storm will determine access to fuel supply and impact on gas prices in Florida and Georgia.
- Supply could be limited and fuel deliveries disrupted to hurricane-impacted areas. If power is lost and roads are closed, gasoline deliveries will not resume until power is restored and roads are opened.
- It is important to note that there will not be a gasoline shortage across the country, but instead temporary outages in certain areas affected by the storm.
- As in any national or local state of emergency, AAA expects gas prices to be held in check -- up and down the gasoline supply chain -- including prices set by refiners, distributors and dealers.
- Forecasts for Hurricane Michael predict that the hurricane will not affect critical Gulf Coast infrastructure (refineries, pipelines). However, heavy rain and high winds could affect refineries in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
Weather forecasters are warning that Hurricane Michael, the strongest on record to strike the Florida Panhandle, could generate life-threatening conditions. “On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year,” according to NOAA.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.