Hurricane Season is here!
Hurricane season officially started in June, but we usually don’t see much storm activity in this area until late September/October. And even then it is usually just tropical storms/depressions. Although last year threw us for a loop with the first hurricane to hit us since 2005, Hurricane Delta, and the another one right after, Hurricane Zeta!
Oh 2020, so many fun surprises….
Today we are anticipating the arrival of our first big storm of the year, Hurricane Grace. We live in the tropics, so this isn’t entirely unexpected. And the good news is that, unlike tornados or earthquakes or wildfires, we have some time to prepare and protect ourselves and our property.
Hurricane Grace snuck up on us, so we don’t have a ton of time, but we wanted to share these tips for homeowners here (and future homeowners) so you can have an idea of what you need to do and expect. Hurricanes and tropical storms are unpredictable, but there are a few things you can expect — the power will most likely go out, and you will probably get some water in your house. Even with the relatively “dry” hurricanes last year, most homes got a bit of water here and there. When the wind is coming from every possible direction, the water finds a way in…
Here are some things to think about/stock up on:
- Clean your gutters/downspouts/drains
- Secure your windows if you think they are vulnerable — plywood, storm shutters, storm fabric, tape – there are many different options. If you have protectores on your windows this will provide some protection, add plywood or shutters for more protection. Note that you’re trying to prevent breakage with these measures, but you’ll probably still get some water somewhere.
- Pull furniture away from windows
- Stock up on bottled water
- Make sure you have all the medication you need. If the storm is very destructive and/or power is out, you will not be able to buy medication.
- If you have pets, make sure you have enough food and water for them — if it’s a big storm with lots of damage, you won’t be able to get into a store for a few days.
- If you do not have a Tinaco (water storage tank – usually on your roof) and the power goes out, you won’t have water to flush the toilets. Fill up buckets in advance.
- Get gas in your car/generator (don’t wait on this – there will be long lines at the gas station as the storm gets closer, then the station will close early)
- Stock up on batteries for your flashlights and hurricane lanterns, if you have a headlamp, dig it out! Those things are very useful in a storm situation.
- Get candles/matches
- Secure your outdoor furniture/items (some people sink their furniture into their pools!)
- Got coconuts? Get them down if you can.
- Make sure you’ve got a mop or two and one of those squeegee things just in case you get water inside (it doesn’t matter how well your house is constructed, you will probably end up with some water somewhere)
- If you’re concerned about flooding/water on floors – make sure you get everything that you can off the floor
- Get some non-perishable food items (hello canned tuna)
- Charge your phones and have a backup charger fully charged – cell service should remain steady – if it goes out, it will probably be back up before the electricity is restored
- Unplug your electronics as the storm arrives
- Find a safe place to shelter in your home – it’s best to be away from windows, if possible.
- Make a plan in the event you need to evacuate – go to a friend’s house or learn where the storm shelters are (watch the Puerto Morelos municipality Facebook page for info on that) If the municipality requires evacuation, they will go door to door to notify you and advise you on your options for shelter.
- If you evacuate, shut off your electricity at the breaker box. When you return, check for electrical damage, such as frayed wires, downed power lines, sparks or the smell of hot or burned insulation. If you find such damage, don’t turn your power on until service crews have made repairs.
- BOOZE – they will stop selling booze before the storm and if the power goes out (and it will) there will be no stores open, so stock up in advance!
- If you were smart enough to get a generator (WE WERE NOT) make sure you have fuel and know how to use it safely
- If you go out during or after the storm, wear proper footwear — rain boots or sneakers — there will be lots of sharp stuff floating around
- We put work gloves, gardening shears and trash bags in our car last year — they came in handy when we were finally able to get out as there were trees and debris down on all the roads
- Stay calm – this one looks mild but it can still be scary to hear the wind and experience the heavy rains, you’ll be fine – reach out to a friend and remember you’re in a community of people who help each other out.
Another Tropical Home Maintenance and Hurricane Prep Resource
Yes, life at the Puerto Morelos beach is amazing, but we are also in the tropics, where sun, tropical rain, salt, bugs and an unrelenting jungle can make home maintenance challenging. That’s where we come in – tune in below to learn more about caring for your home in Mexico and preparing for a hurricane.
This video was included in our free meeting series – Moving to Mexico Mondays on Zoom! We would love to have you join us sometime!
Follow us on Facebook to get more info and to find out when the next Moving to Mexico Monday meeting is. If this is an adventure you might be considering, subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos about moving to Puerto Morelos, Mexico!
Stay safe everyone – see you on the other side of Hurricane Grace!