Better Safe Than Sorry: Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?
It is hard to imagine with the beautiful weather we are experiencing here in Mexico that it is hurricane season. Hurricane season begins June 1 through the end of November. Typically, we only experience sporadic wind and rain, but we have to be aware how quickly mother nature can turn.
If you are traveling to Mexico during hurricane season, you will want to purchase travel insurance. If you live near the coast in Mexico, here are some precautionary steps to consider.
First of all, is your home and vehicle insured? Keep in mind most home insurance policies do not include hurricane coverage, and hurricane damage typically includes flooding and water damage which can be much more extensive than the wind damage. Discuss your coverage with your insurance broker.
In the event of an evacuation, are travel expenses, including lodging, covered by your policy? Consider that your home, the contents, and your vehicle may be left unattended in the event of a disaster. How will these scenarios affect your coverage?
- Install storm shutters to protect windows.
- Clean and secure gutters and downspouts on the roof.
- Consider purchasing a portable generator to use during power outages.
The main issues caused by hurricanes are the loss of power, water, gas, and food.
Luckily with the technology of today, we will receive warning of a natural disaster and have time to plan for it. However, it is a good idea to keep these items on hand at all times.
- Stockpile garrafones of water in your home to ensure you have enough drinking water for your family and your pets.
- Keep extra garrafones of water in case the toilet water or taps are shut off.
- Stock up on non-perishable food, canned (manual can opener) or pouches of food, check labels and expiration dates.
- Prescriptions have enough medication on hand for at least two weeks.
- Pet food and medications.
- First aid kit.
- Flashlights or battery-powered lamps and extra batteries.
- Candles and waterproof matches.
- Fill your home propane tank & bbq tank.
- Stock up on hygiene products, household cleaners, and toilet paper.
- Install a landline, and charge all cell phones in case of power outage. Purchase a power pack for your cell phone.
- Use a ziplock bag to store your passport, residency card, pet’s health certificate (in the event of evacuation travel), pictures of your family and pet in the case of separation, and emergency contact numbers.
- Make copies of insurance policies and proof of ownership documents of any property, cars, and boats.
- Store all important documents in a waterproof container.
- Have cash on hand; you may not be able to access your bank or electronic funds such as credit cards or bank machines.
If you have children in school make sure you discuss the school disaster plan, confirm who is authorized to pick your kids up from school and make sure all contact information is up to date.
Pets and Storms
Pets may flee during a disaster be sure your pet has an updated id tag, designate a guardian in case you can not get to your pets, the guardian should be able to retrieve your pets in case of emergency and have access to your property.
During a disaster, we need to consider the unthinkable and be diligent when it comes to our finances and our family. Property owners in Mexico should be aware that without a Mexican will, the Mexican government will deal with and disburse your estate. Foreigners with investments in Mexico are well advised to have a Mexican will as there are no survivor rights, and although your beneficiary is assigned in the trust, it may not be enough protection for your family.