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Key West Rental Car Evacuation if a Hurricane?

Key West Rental Car Evacuation if a Hurricane?

Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 05:05 AM
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Key West Rental Car Evacuation if a Hurricane?

We have a group of 9 with a house rented in Key West for a week starting 9/6. We were not planning to rent a car.

However, with the recent visit of tropical storm Fay, it got us thinking about what we would need to do if a Hurricane was headed to Key West during our stay. We heard that flights would be difficult and getting a rental car at the last minute might be challenging too.

So now we are thinking about making 2 week long car reservations and watching the weather closely until our arrival. Because of the size of our group, we would need 2 cars.

On our date of arrival, we would decide whether we would need the cars or not based on storm forecasts. Fortunately car reservations are easy to cancel.

Does this strategy make sense? In the past, when a storm like Fay or worse was predicted, was there a problem for tourists wanting to evacuate if they had no rental car already booked? They don't add extra flights, do they?
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 05:09 AM
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I've never thought of that, but it does make some sense. On arrival you'd have a pretty good idea if there is much possibility of a storm in the next week. But I assume you'd reserve them as a one way to Miami?
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 05:56 AM
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The fly in the ointment could be that a rental car reservation is not a guarantee that a car will be available. I mean - they don't hold a car for you like they normally hold a hotel room - that's why they are so easy to cancel and don't require a deposit. You could try what you propose, but you may get to the rental counter and find out they are still sold out despite your having a reservation. I don't know how large a supply of rental cars they keep in Key West.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 07:03 AM
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I would not worry about renting a car.

If they have a mandatory evacuation, Key West officials will make sure you all get out.

The chances of an evacuation are slim and you'll know well in advance.
 
Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 10:18 AM
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It does make sense. Based on the large variation in storms and forecasts, I guess I would break the reservations up into at least 3 or 4 day increments so you have more options. It would suck to cancel the car thinking the weather would be fine and then have a storm unexpectedly turn and head for the Keys. At least with a couple (or maybe 3) shorter rental periods you'd have a bit more accurate forecast to work with.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 12:39 PM
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I'm pretty sure I remember with Georges and Wilma that Key West officials provided buses to transport evacuated tourists out of the Keys.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 02:35 PM
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We're going to Key West at the end of October for two weeks. My husband rented a car through Thrifty for less than $400 - he thinks it was $360.

I'm not sure how many of your party will be chipping in, but between 9 people I think a rental car would be a nominal - and worthy - expense.

I might add that having access to some of the wonderful restaurants on Stock Island alone would be worth the expense to me
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 01:10 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I think we will check into a rental reservation.
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