When planning a trip to Mazatlán, you should be aware of the usual climate conditions of the season you're going to be traveling and the weather forecasted for your stay. Hurricanes can be a concern during several months of the year in many (but not all!) tourist destinations, Hurricane season in Mexico officially lasts from the beginning of June through the end of November, but you're at most risk of encountering a hurricane between August and October.
It is very rare for a hurricane to strike completely by surprise. You'll have advance warning and time to prepare if a hurricane is approaching. Although its exact trajectory may be unknown, there will be forecasts and a warning for the general area the hurricane is expected to hit. Keep up on weather reports and if you're in an area that may be affected, consider evacuating beforehand. If you do get caught in a hurricane while you're in Mazatlán, remember that there are protocols in place to keep you safe, so follow the instructions of safety personnel.
❧ Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
❧ Evacuate if told to do so.
❧ Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
❧ Listen for emergency information and alerts.
❧ Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
❧ Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
First, evacuate if you are directed to do so or if you feel it might be unsafe to remain in your home. If you remain in your home, follow these tips to help you and your family stay safe during the storm:
❧ Use a portable radio to listen to important storm updates, information and instructions.
❧ Stay inside and keep away from all windows, skylights and glass doors. Go to a safe area, such as an interior room, closet or downstairs bathroom.
❧ Never go outside the protection of your home or shelter before there is confirmation that the storm has passed the area. The eye of the storm could create a temporary and deceptive lull, with high winds still approaching.
❧ If power is lost, keep the refrigerator closed to keep cold air trapped and delay spoilage of perishable food.
❧ If you use a portable generator, follow all the manufacturer’s instructions. Generators should be properly grounded to prevent electrical shock and should never be operated indoors, in garages, basements or outdoors near any windows, doors or vents. Because generators produce carbon monoxide (CO), make sure you have a working CO detector in your home.
After it is confirmed by authorities that the storm has passed and it is safe to go outdoors, you can begin to assess any potential damage to your home and property. Follow these tips after the storm is over:
❧ If you were evacuated, return home only after authorities advise it is safe to do so. Avoid downed power lines. Never touch anything in contact with power lines, including water or water puddles that may be near the downed power lines.
❧ Protect your property from further damage by boarding up broken windows to help deter vandalism or additional weather damage. Arrange for reasonable temporary repairs.
❧ Be wary of any gas lines that may have been damaged or broken during the storm. If a gas leak is suspected, stay out of the property until the utility company deems it safe.
❧ Be cautious of hazards that are a product of the storm, such as water due to flooding, sharp or broken objects, damaged tree limbs or other structures that may have been damaged by high winds or water.
❧ Keep accurate records of your expenses and save bills and receipts from your temporary repairs. (Avoid making permanent repairs until your Claim professional has reviewed the damage.) Keep accurate records of any other expenses incurred.
❧ Separate and inventory any damaged personal property. Create a list of any damaged contents, including a description of the item, name of the manufacturer, brand name, age, as well as the place and date of purchase, if known. Include photographs, videotapes or personal property inventories you may already have available.
❧ If you think your home might be unsafe due to storm damage, contact your insurance company to discuss finding temporary accommodations.