There’s no doubt about it. Getting ready for and actually making it through the storm are a lot easier than living with the after-math. Now is when we need to address the damage.
Obviously the first priority is any injuries; that must be the first focus. The reason you got a first aid kit together before the storm is that it might be a while before the ambulance can get to you. Be ready. Hopefully you will never have to use it.
Barring any injuries, your first priority inside is going to be drying off. Once the storm passes the weather will heat back up and you want to get things dry before the mold can start growing. I’m a real estate broker: I’ve been in houses valued at $100,000 all the way up to $10,000,000. One thing they all have in common is that they will take water in a storm. Find the leaks and use your squeegee to dry the floor. Take any wet upholstery, etc out onto the patio and let the sun dry it. Open all the doors and windows to let air circulate. Consider mopping with chlorine bleach as a preventative measure.
This is a golden opportunity for you to experience life off the grid. Your power will remain off for some period of time. If you live in one of the nicer gated communities you will also lack water (no electricity to run the pump). If you’ve got a back-up generator you might be able to run the refrigerator, pump and a few lights but forget the A/C. The closer you live to downtown the better. Say what you will about our city government, they ‘get’ tourism. That area will be the first to have power restored if at all possible. The resorts have massive generators so they will have plenty of water and air conditioning; if need be you could check into one until your place is habitable.
Outdoors you will want to check for damage to your car, and of course the plants. You might notice places where the storm sand-blasted the paint right off your house. Time to clean up the mess, being diligent about clearing up any stagnant water that might breed mosquitoes. Dengue fever is a real concern after a storm.
The city will be cleaning up as soon as the storm clears, concentrating on the tourist zone. They’ll be cleaning up the mud and hauling it off. That’s the good news. The bad news is that some will remain behind, dry up and become dust. That dust becomes airborne. Remember what we said in the last blog about the water flooding the streets not being specifically clean? This dust isn’t ordinary dirt. You don’t want to even THINK about ingesting it in any way. If you’re driving through town keep your windows up and set the air conditioner to recycle interior air. This is not the time to dine at outdoor restaurants; stay home or find an inside venue.
From there on it’s only a matter of patience. Eventually CFE will get the power back on; the linemen are some of the hardest working people in Mexico. With time the water company will find the break in the aqueduct and patch it up (hint: it’s broken where it broke last time and the time before that and the time before that…..). We’re on the end of the supply chain and the storm may have torn up the roads so it will be a while before the stores can re-stock.
Two storms come to mind. Julietta in 2001. Julietta was a bitch. She wasn’t that strong but she arrived in Cabo and like some tourists, didn’t want to leave. Four days!!! The guys at CFE were kind and put power back on periodically during that ordeal. I can’t remember the exact year Marty visited us, seems like it was mid-last-decade. Marty was stronger, but he breezed through in record time in the middle of the night. All I remember of the storm is waking up with the rattling of windows, Bob & I each grabbing a couple of dogs, and heading down to our old downstairs bedroom where we slept through the whole thing. You would think Julietta was the worse of the two, right? Wrong. As quickly and painlessly as Marty dashed through Cabo he decided to take a quick detour to the Sea of Cortez, ripping across the peninsula. He downed power lines between Cabo and LaPaz that took ages to fix, destroyed large sections of the road and took out numerous bridges (I don’t recall the exact number). It took several weeks to recover from Marty. But, the message here is recovery. “Life will be normal again” is my mantra after a storm. And I know that come December I won’t have any complaints about the weather at all!
Carol Billups is Broker/Owner of Cabo Realty Pros. She has enjoyed working with both buyers and sellers for over thirteen years and still thinks hers is the best job on earth. She is also the real estate columnist for Los Cabos Magazine. You can read more of her articles on the website blog www.caborealtypros.com. You can reach her from the U.S. or Canada at 1-760-481-7694, or in Cabo at 044-624-147-7541. You can listen to our 24/7 broadcast on http://www.livecabo.net for a mix of happy music, weather reports and local information.
© 2014 Carol S. Billups