We have recently heard from community members that registrants affected by Hurricane Maria may be unable to renew their domain name due to ongoing issues with the electric power grid and telecommunications infrastructures in the Caribbean and surrounding areas. This means these registrants risk losing their domain name due to circumstances beyond their control.
To help these individuals, ICANN approved Hurricane Maria and other similar natural disasters as extenuating circumstances under RAA section 18.104.22.168. This means that registrars now have the flexibility to extend the registration renewal period for individuals in affected areas. We hope that registries will support this action and that registrars will consider this option when reviewing renewal delinquencies from these regions.
The devastating impact of Hurricane Maria also highlights the need for a broader policy to protect registrants when they are unable to renew their domains as a result of natural disasters or other extraordinary circumstances. We encourage the community to consider this topic during policy development discussions.
We continue to join the rest of the world in extending good thoughts for a speedy recovery for those affected by Hurricane Maria.