As they have done many times before, Florida-based travel agents found themselves having to get clients home while being in a hurricane's path themselves.

As Hurricane Dorian bore down on the East Coast last week, its path unpredictable after it had battered the Bahamas, home-based advisor Danny Fisher of Travel Leaders drove from Cocoa Beach to Orlando, outside of the hurricane zone, and set up temporary shop in a DoubleTree hotel. 

Cruise Planners travel advisor Carol Furst Matulonis of Fort Pierce, Fla., cut short her Labor Day weekend trip in Aruba to assure she'd get back before the storm hit to protect her home and office and to better assist clients. Travelers were flying into and connecting in Miami, and they needed flights rescheduled. Cruise passengers required assistance in deciding how to proceed with modified itineraries. 

Doug Kostowski and Cuqui Ramos collected hurricane relief supplies at their agency.
Doug Kostowski and Cuqui Ramos collected hurricane relief supplies at their agency.

"I had to call those clients to see if they wanted to rebook the shortened and re-routed cruises or take the cancellation offer," she said. "Every client was nice and understanding, and after two days of working on the balcony, we thought it was best to change our own plans and we flew home Saturday morning to put up shutters at home and work."

Matulonis was grateful her office ended up losing power for only one day. 

For other travel agents, being spared meant they could give back. Once the storm was predicted to miss Miami, Cuqui Ramos and Doug Kostowski converted Travel People, their Travel Leaders Network agency in Miami, into a relief supplies collection center.

Correction: Travel People is the name of Doug Kostowski and Cuqui Ramos' agency.

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