Ensure safety and prevent damage by being prepared
Hurricanes are a serious subject matter to consider, especially if you own a home or condo near the beach in Mexico. These huge violent swirling storms too often bring powerfully destructive winds, along with heavy rains and storm surges, which can lead to flooding and possibly mudslides. It makes good sense to be a bit of a “prepper,” and take some steps to help ensure the safety of your family, and prevent damage to your property. Provided are types of preparations Mexico homeowners can make prior to a hurricane.
Prepare the outside of your home
Ahead of heavy winds, remove any exterior hazards from around your home. Store all patio furniture, put away gardening tools, clean the gutters, trim back dead tree limbs, and clear away any loose brush or debris. Be aware that some landscaping materials, like pea gravel, can become projectiles during extreme winds. A great way to help protect your home, and the belongings you keep inside, is to cover all of the windows before a hurricane.
Store copies of important paperwork
Using a waterproof USB flash thumb drive to store copies of documents with details about allergies, prescriptions, and other important family medical information is a great idea. Consider making backup copies of your family member’s passports and other identification, just in case something gets lost during the storm. You can also store copies of insurance policies, along with videos, or photo albums, of all of your household items, vehicles, and property. Having a visual catalogue of all your property, before it was damaged, could aid greatly with filing any insurance claims.
Verify your home insurance is up-to-date
Well before any hurricane begins to descend on your Mexico dream home, you’ll want to do a thorough insurance check-up. Even if you already have a homeowner’s insurance policy in place, it is good practice to do routine reviews of your coverage; to be sure the amounts fit your present needs. Don’t wait till after a disaster has struck to find out that you are underinsured or improperly insured. If you should ever have questions about your Mexico home owner’s insurance coverage, you’ll want to reach out to your agent for some qualified advice. If you don’t already have an agent, you’ll want to contact a Mexico insurance professional sooner, rather than later.
Create a hurricane emergency plan for your family
When developing an emergency plan, be sure to include all family members, as well as any pets. You can usually get information from local authorities about which routes are best to use in case of an emergency evacuation. Knowing where you’ll need to go, ahead of time can help to make the situation a little less stressful. It’s also important to have a backup plan for your Mexico residence, just in case you’re not able to hop on a plane, or evacuate inland.
If your family is unable to evacuate, and has to ride out the storm at home, be careful to keep everyone away from windows. Even when every window is covered by heavy duty storm shutters, the pressure created by super high speed winds can still potentially buckle and shatter the glass.
Long term power outages
When the power fails, you’ll want to bring some light to the situation. Good old-fashioned candles and matches are great, but you’ll also want to be sure to have plenty of batteries to fit your flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns. Be sure to fully charge important electronic devices before the storm knocks out the power. Hand held walkie-talkies work great for keeping family members in touch, when cell service isn’t working. It is also a good idea to have an Emergency Radio, with a back up hand crank, so you can still charge it during a storm, and be able to get weather updates. After the storm passes, and the sun comes out, a portable solar panel can be used for charging cell phones, laptops, or other electronic devices. Portable generators can work for supplying limited amounts of power for short periods, but they can be dangerous due to the release of carbon monoxide when in operation. Additionally, commodities like the gasoline or diesel needed to fuel them could become scarce quickly, when the re-supply gets disrupted by a hurricane catastrophe.
Empty grocery shelves
If a powerful storm damages roads and communication lines, grocery store shelves will empty out quickly. It is important to have sufficient supplies stored for your family in case you are unable to evacuate. In the U.S. it is commonly recommended that preparations for potential disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, should include at least a three day’s stored supply of non perishable foods. Also critically important is maintaining a stored supply, of at least one gallon (about 3.5 Liters) of clean drinking water, per person, for each day. We’ve learned from previous events in Mexico that restoring infrastructure can sometimes take up to a month, so having enough stored food and water for a longer period makes sense.
Start your preparations today
Some careful planning and coordination in advance could end up making a world of difference when having to deal with a really bad situation. If anything, knowing that you’ve made some hurricane preparations for your family and home should help you sleep a little better at night. Using these useful preparation ideas, you’ll be better prepared before any hurricanes develop and potentially make landfall in Mexico.
By Mike Mercer
Mike Mercer is the Mexico Home Owners Insurance Product Manager for www.mexpro.com, the leading provider of insurance for US and Canadian citizens who own homes or condos in Mexico. Mike can be reached at 888-723-4617, or via email at email@example.com