Caribbean Travel Roundup

Newsletter - Paul Graveline, Editor

Caribbean Travel Roundup
Paul Graveline, Editor
Edition 96
July 15, 1999

Last Update 12 July 99 1900ET

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(The following information is provided by CTR Webmaster Gert van Dijken)

Unfortunately  it is that time of the year again: Atlantic hurricane 
season.   Although  this  period  spans a period of 6 months (June 1 - 
November  30), the peak for the Caribbean islands is 'only' from about 
the  last  ten days of August to the middle of September.  Before that 
water  temperatures  in  the  Atlantic  are  too  low  and  after that 
atmospheric conditions are in general less favorable.

Not  surprisingly,  living  on an island is very different than living 
on  say  the  mainland  of  the USA, where when there is a high chance 
that  a  hurricane will pass over your home you can just take your car 
and  drive  for  a  couple  of  hours  and  be out of harms way.  On a 
Caribbean  island  your only way out is by plane.  Given the high cost 
of  last  minute tickets and the fact that the track of a hurricane is 
quite  unpredictable  (a  few tens of miles more to the north or south 
can  make  a  world  of  difference)  few people do actually leave the 
island  when  a hurricane approaches and opt for sitting out the storm 
in their own home.

Unfortunately  world  wide  news  coverage of the many small Caribbean 
islands  is very minimal, incomplete or even totally lacking.  After a 
storm  telephone  contact  is  often  interrupted  for parts of or the 
whole  island.  Family  and  friends  living  abroad will be unable to 
contact  their loved ones.  The sketchy reports in the newspaper often 
makes them even more worried.  And that's where my website comes in.

Over  200  special  local  hurricane correspondents are standing by to 
report  the  latest  on  what  is really happening on the islands they 
live  on.  When there is a threat of a storm they will send updates on 
how  the  island  is  preparing.   These reports will be posted on the 
Caribbean  Hurricane  Page website.  More importantly, after the storm 
they  will report on how the island fared and continue to give updates 
on  the  aftermath.   Through  them  I  hope  to  bring  accurate, not 
sensationalized  information  on  what  is  really  happening  on  the 
island.  In situations like this no news is often bad news.

Last  year  during  hurricanes Georges and Mitch I have received many, 
many  thank-you  notes  from  people  with  family  or  friends on the 
islands.    Often   my   website  was  the  only  source  of  detailed 
information.   They  wrote  that  despite  the fact that they were not 
able  to  get  through  to  the  islands, reading the reports from the 
hurricane  correspondents  made  them  worry  a  lot less.  Many other 
people  noted  the  website  as  well;  more  than  400,000 visited my 
website  last  year  and  I  have  received  well  over  2,500  e-mail 
messages.   The  often very personal reports can still be found on the 
website.   You  can really sense from their updates on how it is to go 
through such a stressful period.

Also  on  the  website  is  a 'Practical Guide to Hurricane Tracking'.  
This  is filled with all kinds handy information when you are plotting 
hurricanes,  like  definitions,  abbreviations,  unit  conversions and 
links   to   current  weather  on  the  islands  and  other  hurricane 
websites.   The  'Quick  Hurricane  Web  Resource Locator' gives quick 
access  to  the  latest  advisories from the National Hurricane Center 
(together  with  alternate  links in case their website is overloaded) 
and the latest satellite images.  

Hopefully  we  will  not have such a bad season as last year.  But you 
can  be  assured  my  hurricane correspondents are standing by!  Many, 
many,  many  thanks  to  these volunteers for getting out the news and 
making this website work.

Find it on the web at:
The Caribbean Hurricane Page:
Practical Guide to Hurricane Tracking:
Quick Hurricane Web Resource Locator:



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