TOWSON, MD (October 10, 2018) - 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. “While the storm is not expected to have a significant impact on weather in Maryland, AAA urges travelers to check with their travel agent and travel providers for cancellation policies and possible itinerary changes, especially if they have plans to travel south to Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas,” said Ragina Cooper Averella, Public and Government Affairs Manager at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Motorists could also notice a temporary spike in gas prices should Hurricane Michael disrupt oil production and refining in the Gulf of Mexico,” Averella added.
AAA Hurricane Preparedness Tips
- Safety. Travelers should heed all official evacuation advisories and orders.
- Flight Status. If you are flying, check with your airline on change fees 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.
"Leading up to Hurricane Michael, gas supplies have likely tightened in the Gulf Coast portion of the Florida panhandle and surrounding areas impacted by the hurricane," said Averella. "The severity of the storm, however, will determine access to fuel supply and impact on gas prices in Florida and Georgia. Current forecasts suggest the hurricane is not likely to affect critical Gulf Coast infrastructure (refineries, pipelines). However, heavy rain and high winds could affect refineries in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana," she added.
- 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 are possible 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.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 975,000 members in Maryland. 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 AAA.com.