Now that the Alabama Gulf Coast is open for business and we are all rebounding from last year’s pandemic closures, we know you are ready to book your beach vacation getaway or flexcation soon! Your friends at Sunset Properties want you to make the most of your beach vacation experience. We want you and your family to enjoy all the great restaurants and attractions available here on our Alabama Gulf Coast. We want you to dip your toes in the welcoming waters of the salty Gulf of Mexico and enjoy listening to the seagulls chatter and watching the dolphins play in our back bays of Orange Beach. We want you to enjoy walking on our sugary sandy white beaches in front of the Hangout in Gulf Shores. We hope you get to go boating and fishing and parasailing in Mobile Bay, if those things appeal to you. But we also want you to be prepared just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Here are some tips on What to do if a hurricane threatens your vacation fun in Gulf Shoes, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:
- Know where you are
Keeping up with exactly where you are on a map is so important. Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico tropical weather, whether you’re dealing with a tropical storm or a hurricane, may not affect all parts of the Gulf Coast with the same severity. What can be considered a major storm in one area of the Northern Gulf can be little more than a rain event just a few miles away. Know where your vacation home is in relation to any severe weather that may be in the expected or affecting the Northern Gulf Coast. Just because there is tropical weather in The Gulf of Mexico doesn’t necessarily mean your vacation has to be altered. Sometimes, all it means is there is no swimming allowed in The Gulf for a day or so due to rip currents/tides. And if that’s the case, you will still have a great time staying with Sunset Properties. Most of our vacation homes have pools either right on site or only a short walk away.
- Know exactly what you’re dealing with
Tropical weather can appear in several different forms. The ones that seem to catch our ears here on the Alabama Gulf Coast are tropical storms and hurricanes. What’s the difference? As defined by www.weather.gov a tropical storm is a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds ranging from 39-73 mph (34 to 63 knots). And a hurricane is a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds of 74 mph or greater (64 knots or greater). Both usually only last a day or so. It’s the strength of a storm that determines whether our island roads and businesses remain cautiously open or have to close temporarily for safety. While no one likes to deal with tropical weather, knowing what you’re dealing with will make things more manageable. And understanding that when authorities determine the situation is severe enough to ask residents and guests to leave or delay returning to our island home, we all must comply.
- Be weather aware
Weather reports are often available a week or so out and it’s a good idea to check out our local weather within a couple of weeks of your arrival. Not only will this help you plan what to bring to wear, but it can give you an idea if severe weather is possible or likely during your vacation. While we love to say it’s always “sunny and 75 here” sometimes, we have to admit, it’s neither sunny nor seventy-five. We urge you to get a weather app for your phone that will allow you to not only track out local weather here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, but will also allow you to get alerts that follow you while you’re in our neighborhood. Sometimes the weather at The Dunes near Fort Morgan is perfectly sunny under breezy blue skies, while the weather in Gulf Shores at Lighthouse 607 or Harbor House 30 can be rainy and over in Orange Beach, at Seaside Beach and Racquet 2104 or Caribe C Penthouse 14, they may be looking at the brightest rainbow in memory.
- Buy travel insurance
When you book with Sunset Properties, long before you check in to Navy Cove 2113 or Hangar Outer, we will offer you the option to purchase travel insurance. Get it. Go ahead and purchase the insurance. You insure everything else important in your life, why would you not insure your vacation? This is the one big leisure expense you saved for and planned on all year. Make a small investment in travel insurance and guarantee yourself a financially secure vacation. For details on all the different travel insurance options, take a look at our blog detailing reasons you really do need this.
- Develop a Plan B
All business savvy folks have a Plan B, just in case Plan A falls through. Great vacation planners do this, as well. We cannot overstress the importance of purchasing travel insurance. You save all year for your beach vacation; the kids are so excited and hyped up; you have your four legged baby all vaccinated and ready to roll, then you realize the weather will just not cooperate with your plans. If you cannot check into your vacation rental because it is simply not available, check with Sunset Properties about rescheduling for a different date. Call as soon as you know you cannot arrive on time! Do not delay notifying our staff with this request. With some restrictions, this may be an option. Also, try not to get fixated on only one of our great properties. Be sure to look at all of our inventory, just in case you have to change your beach home address. While this may never happen to you, and we sincerely hope it doesn’t, it is always good to have your Plan B in place. After all, no one likes an unfamiliar, unexpected vacation surprise. Book your favorite home, but go ahead and take a look at all we have available, and decide which of our amazingly family and dog friendly beach homes could be your second or third choice.
- Expect the unexpected
Expect the unexpected and plan for it. No one likes that guy Murphy who has all those gloom and doom (if-it-can-go-wrong—it-will-go-wrong) “laws” and we are convinced he is related to Mayhem, because he seems to pop up at the most inopportune times. We don’t like him and most of our guests don’t care much for him either. But there’s no harm in preparing for the worst. While none of us can stop a hurricane or a tropical storm, we can at least prepare. And tropical weather or not, it is always a good idea to throw in a rain poncho when you’re coming to your beach home. While it doesn’t rain all day every day during the summer months along the Alabama Gulf Coast, it usually rains for a few minutes, most days. Be prepared for afternoon showers as you enjoy your stay with us. Ponchos and flip-flops are totally normal in our neighborhood!
- Understand your cancellation or rescheduling options
We know that sometimes you just have to cancel or reschedule your vacation. Things come up. While we do our best to accommodate our guests and make changing plans as easy as possible, we hope our guests will do their part, as well. Ask your reservationist for specifics on rescheduling your trip if the need arises. Know your options. There may be fees associated with this and the property you were initially hoping for may or may not be available for your new dates. Get all the details when you make your initial booking. We, at Sunset Properties, are only a click or call away and we will be happy to help you understand all of the options that are available to you when you make your reservation.
- Consider changing your destination city
If vacation home choices in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan become unavailable during your scheduled time, how about considering visiting an alternative location? Sunset Properties also has a lovely vacation home in Park City, Utah. While Park City is obviously a long, long way from the Alabama Gulf Coast, our vacation home Silver Saddles is as spectacular a home as you have come to expect from us. It is a three bedroom, three and a half bath 2,000 square foot ground floor condo located in this beautiful mountain resort area. Vacations in Park City, in both summer and winter, are memorable! Rescheduling your summer trip away from the Gulf of Mexico and visiting Park City, located about thirty miles from Salt Lake City, Utah, may just be one of the best vacation decisions you and your family ever make!
If you have questions or need suggestions on what to do while you’re staying with us on the Alabama Gulf Coast, check out or blog on Romantic Things to Do in Gulf Shores or Things to do With Your Kids in Gulf Shores. We live, work and play right here in beautiful south Alabama and we would love to offer suggestions on how to make the most of your time in our area. And if a summer stay in the stunning Utah mountains appeals to you, we can help you get your Park City vacation set up, also! See you soon!