After all these many years I do not ever recall being up to N on the hurricane names before it’s even September! YIKES! So I figure a few words on storm season are in order. I think we’ll deal with Before/During/After. Frankly the Before and Afters are the most important.
Most of the BEFORE actions can be taken weeks or even months in advance of a storm. You might want to assess your home for risk and consider hurricane shutters (solid) or hurricane screens (Kevlar-type fabric). In our case, we have protection for the great room but not the bedrooms, figuring that we’ll have one central ‘safe area’. Not everyone will need to do this, but we’re in prime wind location.
You will also want to buy (trust me on this) a squeegee with a long handle, a large dust pan on a long handle and a plastic bucket. In my experience these are the fastest, most effective tools for cleaning up floods. And you will have flooding, no matter how grand or humble the home. Once the water starts puddling up on the floor squeegee it into the dustpan then dump in the bucket. Repeat. Build up a rhythm. It works much better than mopping. Other necessary supplies include LOTS of flashlights and extra, fresh batteries. Prior to the storm hitting shore the electric company will shut down power. Why? Because we have overhead lines, and in some parts of town home-made connections, so for safety reasons they shut us down in high winds. While normal flash lights are great (have a minimum of one per person) there are two additional I’d like to suggest. Camping lanterns are real conveniences when the power is off for extended periods of time. I also love my teensy tiny one inch long flashlight. Last big storm I stashed it in my pocket. Sure enough, when the lights went off I was halfway down a staircase. That little guy sure came in handy. Depending on your home you may need tarps and bungee cords to cover or tie down various items. A hurricane force wind can move just about anything, so when in doubt bring it indoors or secure it. And an ice chest is a handy item to have as well.
All of these precautions can be done months in advance; you know you’ll need these things eventually so you might as well stock up well in advance. You’ll also need a good first aid kit and be sure not to let your inventory of any needed medications run too low.
And now: food and drink. Mid-summer I try to begin accumulating canned foods. That isn’t terribly easy in Cabo; we love fresh food and not too many things are sold in cans. If your stove is propane you’ll be able to boil water for coffee and soup. If not you’ll be eating tuna sandwiches. But whatever it is, just buy a bit at a time and build up a hoard of non-perishable food. The experts suggest enough for at least three days but being at the end of the supply chain it might be a good while before the stores can re-stock. Please don’t forget your little four-legged friends and stock up on food for them, too. You might consider building up a little inventory of cash as well. When power goes out so do ATM’s and credit card readers. You’ll need to have enough cash to cover you for a few days.
Again, without power you’ll get bored. Have a few good books you’ve been hoping to read on hand— real ones. You won’t be able to charge your reading device without electricity.
Now: crunch time.
Be monitoring the weather. I check the National Hurricane Center daily during season at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/?epac. If it looks like we’re going to get a storm it’s time to get the house ready (and yourself). You’ll need to go to the store and buy last-minute supplies. Bear in mind that, this being Cabo, most of town will be there frantically trying to get all the things you already stocked. But you’ll want to fight the crowds and pick up some semi-perishable foods like eggs, bread and fruits with a slightly longer shelf life like apples and pineapple. Fill the ice chest. Top off your car’s tank; you never know how long after a storm before we can get gas. And last: bear in mind that if we get significant damage martial law will be declared and the town will be dry. Make sure you’ve got plenty to cover any vices you enjoy.
Get yourself home and go get ready for the storm…… to be continued….
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