Timeshare Owners and Natural Disasters

Weather changes can effect your timeshare vacation.

Since I wrote about vacation insurance for timeshare owners in our blog last week, and this week about the disastrous flooding in the US and around the world, I thought I might elaborate a little more on the very real, and very unpredictable matter of natural disasters.

In 2004, our Timeshare Owners Blog tried to keep you updated on the problems one of the worst hurricane seasons on record created for timeshare owners and vacationers. The hurricanes of 2004, primarily Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne, affected more than 25 percent of the timeshare resorts in the US.

The impact ranged from the relatively minor inconvenience of temporary loss of telephone service and or electricity, to total devastation of the timeshare resort. The fact that so many timeshares—one in four in the United States—were effected, occurred primarily because Florida leads the nation in both the number of timeshare resorts within the state as well as the number of hurricane hits. Now factor in South Carolina and Texas, each with a significant number of both timeshares and hurricanes, and you quickly see the problem.

First, let’s deal with some good rules to follow regarding hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and other types of natural disasters. If you are on holiday and there is a consideration that any of these or other adversities could affect the area in which you are vacationing, take a few simple precautions.

  1. Keep your gas tank filled. A sudden surge of people evacuating an area not only clogs the highways but can deplete local gas supplies. In the event of loss of electricity, the gas pumps won’t work anyway.
  2. Keep extra cash on hand. During an emergency, there may be no one available to cash your travelers checks and automatic teller machines can run out of cash quickly. Like gas pumps ATM’s stop working when the power goes out.
  3. Whether it is your personal car or a rental car, if you are planning to drive it out of the area, put at least a few bottles of water and some granola bars in it. Don’t expect restaurants to be open along evacuation routes. Even if some are, the lines may be so long that you decide it is best to just keep on truckin’.
  4. timeshare owners should prepare for the unexpected

  5. Lastly, and this is the most important tip of all, if you are in an area where the authorities declare mandatory evacuation—LEAVE. Natural disasters are not exciting, exhilarating, or something to tell the grandchildren. Once you have been advised by the authorities to leave, no one will come rescue you if you choose to stay. Emergency personnel are not expected to put their lives on the line for people who do not follow mandatory evacuation orders. During a hurricane, for example, once mandatory evac orders are issued, police officers often go to the area, and ask all those who have chosen to ride out the storm to provide the contact information for their next of kin. They want to know where, after the storm has passed, they should ship your body, if they are able to recover it.
  6. With those sobering thoughts out of the way, in tomorrow’s blog posting we will look more specifically at the way natural disasters affect your timeshare ownership.