Last week A was stranded in Italy on a study trip with his school - thanks to the Iceland volcano. His flights got canceled and they got rebooked for a few days later. A couple of days before the new flights it was still uncertain whether they would be canceled or not. I asked the school administration what their back-up plan was in case one of the new flights got canceled. They didn't have one. They were hoping the new flights would not get canceled and would work on a new plan if they were.
I discussed with the kids the value of having a "Plan B" in place ahead of time. A great example of when that might have helped was our trip to St Lucia over Spring Break. There was a storm in Atlanta where we had to change planes and as we waited for our flight to Atlanta and Delta said the flight was on time we were skeptical. Yet we didn't do anything about it. When half an hour before the departure time they all of a sudden told us the flight had been canceled we had to scramble to find an alternative. Fortunately we quickly found a Virgin America flight online and ran (literally) to their terminal to barely make the flight. Yet, we could have been looking at flight alternatives while waiting for the Delta flight and would have been in much better shape - and not have to run.
Hope for the best... But prepare for the worst!