One Small Piece of “Hurricanes and Hotels” Advice

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With Hurricane Sandy getting closer to making landfall, I wanted to give one small piece of advice to those who decided to stay put and ride it out.  If this storm is anywhere near as damaging as it is expected to be, then there will be areas flooded and/or without power for quite a while to come.  If you think there is any chance that you may be in one of those places, make some hotel reservations right now.

Make reservations starting for when the storm has passed for a few days out after that.  Make sure they are reservations that can be cancelled in the event you don’t need them, but you will be thanking yourself if your home is still without power several days from now.  Highly populated urban areas are your best bets in terms of where power will likely be restored first.  If you really want to hedge your bets, make reservations at two hotels in different locations and go where the least damage has occurred after the storm passes.  Use points, earn points, whatever, but don’t set up a situation where you can’t get a room 24-48 hours from now because you waited too long.

Being without power for days on end with kids can be terrible, so don’t set yourself up for that situation if you can avoid it.  Be proactive and be careful!  I’ll be thinking of all of you on the East Coast.

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  1. Benefit from shutting other people out of hotel rooms by making two reservations. How is that in any way advisable? Don’t know how one person deserves the electricity provided by hotel more than another. And since you’re recommending to make the reservations in order to have electricity, what about shutting families (with small children, for example) out who need the rooms because they’re house is flooded, or somehow unlivable or dangerous?

  2. For points redemption, I recall at least for me Hilton lets you cancel up to 6pm the day of, but spg needs a day in advance. Once the power goes out, the only way to get coffee at home is to fire up the gas grill and cook a pot of it the old fashioned way. Then take care of the kids lol

  3. When power goes out, take the UPS off the PC and bring it to the kitchen to make coffee.

    Others think that it has higher priorities, such as recharging cell phones, but those people have never gotten between me and my morning coffee.

    More seriously, next time you buy a gas grill, get one with a burner on the side. In normal times I use it to heat things that go in pots (beans for the franks, for example). In power outages, it heats water or soup and uses far less gas than the main grill burners would use.

  4. excellent advice-in connecticut after last fall when I couldn’t find a hotel as I waited too long, I booked a Marriott residence inn(pet friendly and a kitchen) for later this week and it can be cancelled up tp 6pm of day of checkin.

  5. Nice thing about the DC area is that there are a ton of hotels to choose from. We went from Ritz Carlton to Hilton to Embassy Suites on one night stays while we waited for the power to come back on.

  6. I did the same thing last year when the storm hit and we were without power for 10 days. We earned a ton of Marriott points that funded a free vacation at Niagara in May! Those of us up here can’t believe that the same thing is happening a year later when we thought it was a once in a lifetime thing. 2 Hallowe’ens impacted? My kids are prime Hallowe’en age so UGH. Last year Marriott did put on a great free Hallowe’en party though. My Marriott nights are all booked — and yes, you can cancel up to 6 pm that day at Marriott. Much as I love Marriott, it would be great not to have to use them. Battening down the hatches here in Connecticut!

  7. @Hayden, anyone making a reservation won’t actually be utilizing it if they don’t need it, so the space will still be available for those who end up needing it at the last minute. I hear where you are coming from, but as a family with a young kid I know we would be very proactive in making sure we were prepared in the event things got bad. I recommend others do the same.
    @MileValue, may be tough to catch a flight at this point, but you are right that Vegas hotels have a price that can’t be beat!
    @MM, coffee is very important!
    @Steve, love it. 😉
    @Askia, hotel hopping in the dark. 😉
    @CU, way to be prepared and major props to Marriott for the Halloween party!

  8. @CU-Believing it to be a once in a lifetime thing is never a wise idea. Ask anyone from Louisiana…Katrina, Rita, Ike, Gustav, and Isaac in the past seven years, plus last year’s Mississippi River flooding.

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