Hurricane season in Mexico lasts from May 15 to November 30. Ensuring your family is sufficiently equipped for this 6-month season each year will give everyone peace of mind. No matter whether you are in Mexico or in the U.S., you can help them plan and get ready for whatever this hurricane season may throw their way.
Steps to Prepare for Hurricanes
Ideally, you want your family to start preparing for hurricane season before it arrives. But since hurricane seasons can vary so greatly, it’s important to talk to your family even during hurricane season to make sure they have a plan in place for when the tropical storms or hurricanes hit.
Hurricane preparation steps to review with your family:
- Have them inspect their home and make repairs to their roof, walls, and windows to prevent damage.
- Go over safety practices regarding live wires, lights, cables, water, and gas during a hurricane or serious storm.
- If they don’t drive, ask them their strategy for getting to a safe place if they need to leave their home.
- Be sure they learn their evacuation routes and know of any shelters. Temporary shelters are often set up at local churches, city halls or schools. Check on their plans to meet if they get separated or are arriving to shelters from different points.
- Make certain their arrangements consider the needs of both young and old family members.
Sheltering In or Moving to Safety
Check that your family has supplies and is familiar with safe practices during a hurricane whether they face the storms from home or have to move to a shelter.
Here are basic emergency supplies to have on hand in case of a hurricane or other natural disaster:
- An emergency kit. This includes essential items for at least 72 hours following a storm, assuming your family was unable to obtain outside resources. A kit might include First Aid supplies, a battery-powered radio, a strong flashlight, purified water in covered containers, and nonperishable or canned food like sardines, tuna, beans, and evaporated/condensed milk. Also add a can opener, eating utensils, and batteries.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications, diapers, comfort objects, and any other important supplies for children, elderly family members, or pets.
- An emergency car kit, full gas tank, and extra fuel.
- Activation of their cell phone’s roaming service so that it works internationally to stay in regular contact with family and friends to advise on their status and/or whereabouts.
- An up-to-date list of local emergency phone numbers, as well as contact numbers for the nearest U.S. Embassy, Consulate General, or Consular Agency.
- Personal documents like birth, marriage, passport, and other certificates stored in a heavy plastic sealed bag. For an organized approach and suggestions, check this S. website page on hurricane preparation.
- Extra copies of the personal documents plus passport, driver’s license, credit cards, Mexican auto insurance, tourist visa, etc. Your family should leave a set elsewhere with a friend or family member, and pack a set in a heavy plastic sealed bag, bringing the bag with them if they leave their home. They should also scan and email the set of documents to themselves ahead of time, if they can.
- Comfortable clothing and shoes, blankets and pillows.
What You Can Do from Afar
Most tropical storms and hurricanes don’t destroy homes and lives, but there is always that risk. Be sure your family has a plan and assist them to achieve it before hurricane season is fully underway.
You can help them be safe and prepared by sending them money to get their home in order or their emergency exit plans equipped. Also encourage your family to evaluate and purchase homeowners’ insurance, if possible, that covers hurricane damage and loss.
To ensure your family is hurricane-ready, send reliable money transfers to purchase supplies through the Western Union mobile app. Since they may not be able to get to a Western Union location, you can transfer money directly into their bank account or their PagaPhone SmartPay account. If your loved ones do suffer damage from heavy rains, winds, and flooding, with Western Union, you’ll be able to use the app to get emergency funds to them quickly!