Natural Disaster Preparedness for Timeshare Owners
October 28th 2014 Posted by: SellMyTimeshareNow SMTN Category: For Owners

In response to the recent wreckage in famed vacation destination, Los Cabos, we felt the need to elaborate on the very rare and unpredictable matter of natural disasters, along with how they can affect timeshare owners like you. Vacationing is supposed to be a joyous, exciting opportunity, but natural disaster preparedness is also an important aspect, since severe weather can strike at any time.

Florida, Mexico, South Carolina, and Hawaii are leading travel and timeshare destinations — and for good reason. These vacation hot spots are jam-packed with natural beauty, attractions, and renowned entertainment. These locations are also highly prone to disastrous hurricanes. While hurricanes here are rare, 2014’s Hurricane Odile in Cabo has proven that you can still be subject to natural disasters during your annual timeshare retreat.

While there is no way to predict or prevent hurricanes and other extreme weather, there are ways to prepare yourself for the possibility. Here, find tips on how to stay safe while vacationing, and how to be smart about your timeshare ownership.

Tips and Tricks for Safe Vacationing

If you’re heading off on your vacation adventure soon, it is a good idea to take some precautions to prepare yourself in case of a weather emergency.

  • Stop by the ATM before you leave and keep some cash on hand. If there are any power outages, in case of an emergency, cash may be the only form of payment accepted.
  • When traveling abroad, make sure to keep your passport in a safe place, while also leaving copies in other bags and one at home in case anything ever happens to the original.
  • If you plan on bringing your own car or renting one while visiting your timeshare, keep your gas tank full. If an evacuation is requested, highways and gas stations will become crowded quite quickly.
  • If you are traveling somewhere that you know has potential for severe weather warnings, pack an emergency kit with water, food, a flashlight, and anything else you might find handy.
  • When you arrive at your vacation destination, take notice of your surroundings and try to spot any potential evacuation routes labeled.
  • And last, but certainly not least, if you are in an area being labeled as mandatory evacuation by authorities — EVACUATE! While this may be inconvenient for your family trying to enjoy your vacation, it does not outweigh your safety.

Timeshare Owner Advice

If you are looking into buying a timeshare or already own one, there are additional steps you can take to keep yourself and your finances safe from the aftermath of natural disasters on your timeshare property.

Current Owners

When you own a timeshare, the legalities that come with your timeshare being damaged or unusable vary from state to state and from timeshare company to timeshare company. While it is a good idea to contact your specific resort to check on their guidelines on natural disaster protocol, remember that natural disasters are very difficult to measure and predict, and emergency response can vary case-by-case.

No matter the situation, you will still be required to pay your annual taxes, fees, timeshare mortgage (if any), etc. If your timeshare resort starts charging additional fees — known as special assessment fees — to make up for the damage, you will be required to pay those as well.

The length of time your timeshare will be out of commission also varies. However, most timeshare companies do consider the needs of their timeshare owners and will find ways to make up for their losses. In fact, many of the resorts in Los Cabos allowed owners to use their hurricane week anywhere in their network for the next twelve months. So if your timeshare unit at the Grand Mayan Los Cabos got washed out, you could book at any of the Vida Vacations resorts in Cancun for next year at no extra charge.

If you’re worried about your reservation being cancelled due to bad weather, deposit your timeshare week in RCI or Interval International as soon as possible. Whatever those weeks are worth in RCI and II before the disaster will not change due to damage of that particular resort.

Prospective Owners

For those interested in buying a timeshare but are worried about the potential for natural disasters harming a resort, consider buying a points-based membership instead. A points membership will minimize your risk and work around possible disasters, since you will not be tied to going to one specific place every year.

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