Tropical Storm Barry is almost a Category 1 hurricane as it nears the Louisiana coast

Louisiana has withstood devastating hurricanes before, but authorities are urging residents not to underestimate the danger and destruction Tropical Storm Barry threatens as it gets closer to the coast Friday.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Hurricane Barry is currently barreling through the Gulf Coast, expected to cause damage and create a possible travel nightmare.

So how do you avoid this looming headache if traveling?

Hurricane activity brewing off the Gulf Coast, the first taste of the 2019 season which began back on June 1st and runs through November.

Sandra Marsian, the Vice President of Pioneer Valley AAA spoke about receiving alerts about any travel-related issues.

“I think it's still early, we haven't received a lot of calls," Marsian explained.

Marsian with the Pioneer Valley AAA told Western Mass News that while Barry may not pack a mighty punch up here, the travel world is aware it could be a nightmare to our south and some airlines are already making plans.

“It's Panama City Beach, Pensacola, New Orleans, Corpus Christi, Houston, are the airports in Southwest’s case where they are saying hey we're going to waive those fees if you're traveling x dates you can reschedule them to another range of dates without having to pay a fee," Marsian said.

Which is just good business, Marsian said, since flights were bound to be impacted.

“If we can get people to think in advance it's going to save them frustration, also the airline's frustration," Marsian noted.

Some airlines won’t help you like that, and travelers end up out of cash.

“The one sure-fire way to make sure your trip doesn't cost you is this, travel insurance, there's just a lot of reasons why people should consider it," Marsian said.

It can save you money should the unexpected happen.

“Not have to worry that if something happens and I have to cancel, I'm out a big chunk of change," Marsian said.

It could also bring you money, should the worst happen.

For instance, let’s say you’re going on a cruise.

“If they change the schedule, or you miss a port of call you were looking forward to, they'll pay you for the inconvenience," Marsian explained.

Still, Marsian said it’s important to read the fine-print which has things in it like deadlines for when insurance needs to purchase.

“You can purchase travel insurance within 14 days of booking your trip," Marsian noted.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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