As summer arrives in Baja Sur it brings along with it another hurricane season. While we can’t change the fact that these powerful storms are part of the Todos Santos area life, we can do much to keep our families, our friends, and ourselves safe. Here are some useful tips to prepare for the season.
Get Your Family Ready
- Create and go over with your family an emergency plan. Include evacuation routes if necessary. Make sure you have the supplies needed. Including at least 5 gallons of water per person (which should be enough to last 3 to 5 days).
- Keep checking for updates about storm activity in the Todos Santos area. The National Hurricane Center (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov) can provide up-to-date info of storms effecting Baja Sur. Search “Eastern Pacific” updates.
- If you have pets, you will need a hurricane plan for them as well. Include a food and water supply that will last your pet 3 to 5 days.
- Pack important documents (like wills or passports) with you.
Get Your Home Ready
- Clear your yard. Make sure there’s nothing that could blow around during the storm and damage your home. Flying debris is also one of the greatest cause of injuries! Move bikes, lawn furniture, grills, propane tanks, and building material inside or under shelter.
- Cover up windows and doors outside. Use storm shutters or nail pieces of plywood to the window frames to protect your windows. This can help keep you safe from pieces of shattered glass.
- Be ready to turn off your power. If you see flooding, downed power lines, or you have to leave your home, switch it off.
- Fill clean water containers with drinking water in case you lose your water supply during the storm. You can also fill up your sinks and bathtubs with water for washing.
Lower the thermostat in your refrigerator and freezer to the coolest possible temperature. If your power goes out, your food will stay fresh longer.
Get Your Car Ready
- Fill your car’s gas tank. Your local Pemex station may have limited supplies of fuel after a storm. Save yourself the long wait in lines by filling up ahead of time.
- Arrange to have a car emergency kit. Which might include some basic tools, flashlight, first aid kit, flares, jumper cables, and a fuel container.
Move cars and trucks into your garage or under cover.
Being prepared can do much for the stability and support of our local community. “Everyone who lives in an area affected by hurricanes needs to take personal responsibility and accountability to be prepared,” said Erik Salna, associate director of the International Hurricane Research Center. “It has to become a way of life, something you naturally do.”