Natural disasters


Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands were affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017, while some areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were hit by Hurricane Nate in October 2017. If you’re in an affected area, you should continue to follow the advice of the local authorities. The post-storm environment in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands remains particularly fragile, with continuing power outages and unstable buildings.

The Atlantic and Northern Pacific hurricane season normally runs from June to November and can affect US coastal regions, Hawaii, and Guam. The South Pacific tropical cyclone season normally runs from November to May and can affect American Samoa. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms on the US National Hurricane Center website and follow instructions issued by the local authorities, including any evacuation orders.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website contains information about how to prepare for extreme weather conditions and what to do if you are told to evacuate. It also provides a list of disaster supplies that will help if you live in an area affected by storms and hurricanes.

See our Tropical Cyclones page for advice about what to do if you are caught up in a storm/hurricane.


Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Washington state and the US Virgin Islands are prone to earthquakes. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit the Federal Emergency Management website.


Tornadoes can occur at any time of the year depending on weather conditions. To learn more about what you should do during, and after a tornado, visit the US National Weather Service website.


Forest and brush fires (wild fires) are a danger in many dry areas. High winds can cause fires to spread very rapidly. Areas of high risk are canyons, hills and forests. Monitor local media reports and follow the advice of local law enforcement officials. Exercise caution in areas which have been recently affected by wild fires as they are more susceptible to mudslides during heavy rainfall. For more information visit the National Interagency Fire Centre and US Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group websites. For more detail about wild fires in California, visit the CAL FIRE website.

Snow storms

Snow storms during winter can cause delays and cancellations throughout the major airline hubs in the USA. Contact your travel company or airline before you travel. To monitor airport conditions in the USA, visit the Federal Aviation Administration website.