Even when the weather is incredible all year round, visiting Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean means that you would need to understand and be prepared for a hurricane. We can’t do anything to prevent them but we can take every possible action to protect ourselves from any danger associated with these storms. The hurricane season starts in June and ends in November.
The first recommendation is to be informed. It is sure that the staff in your hotel is prepared to give you all the truthful information. Their main objective is that you and your family are safe. Be calm! There is a huge difference between a simple storm and a hurricane.
Tropical Wave. A cluster of clouds and/or thunderstorms without an organized circulation, with top winds of less than 39MPH. They have a number instead of a name.
Tropical Storm. Still a storm, with water or wind but with no danger. Winds of 39-74 MPH. They can develop into hurricanes. Storms become named when they reach the tropical storm strength.
Tropical Storm Watch. Tropical Storm conditions are possible in the specified area of the Watch, usually within 36 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning. Tropical Storm conditions are expected in the specified area of the Warning, within 24 hours.
Hurricane. An intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and a sustained wind speed of 75 MPH or higher.
Hurricane Watch. Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the Watch, usually within 36 hours. During a Hurricane Watch, prepare to take immediate action to protect you and your family when a Hurricane Warning is issued.
Hurricane Warning. Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the Warning within 24 hours. Complete all storm preparations. The hotel will evacuate to a safe shelter if you are in an official evacuation zone. Trust the hotel’s staff and follow any directions they may give.
Some important actions:
- Listen to your Hotel Staff.
- Check web sites which provide up-to-date information (progress reports) http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ & http://www.qroo.gob.mx/qroo/index.php
- Keep your mobile phones full charged and use it the less possible.
- Keep safe and dry your important documents, cameras, money and any other you consider.
- Print copies of your passport, arrivals, departures, hotel changes, roundtrips and any other you may consider important, in order to be able to handle the information after the hurricane in case ok a lack of electricity.
Making Plans when the presence of the hurricane is imminent
- Listen to local radio and TV for up-to-date storm information
- Check web sites which will provide us up-to-date information (progress reports) in our area such as: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ & http://www.qroo.gob.mx/qroo/index.php
- A hurricane tracking map should be duplicated and used to track hurricane paths in the Caribbean
Blue Warning. It is set when is detected the presence of a tropical cyclone or when it remains more than 72 hours of the possibility that the line of winds of 34 knots (63 km/h) of the cyclone begins to affect the area. It is considered that there’s no danger or it is minimal. During this stage bulletins are issued every 24 hours.
Green Warning – Hurricane Watch – 72-24 hours prior. It is set when a tropical cyclone is at a distance such as to predict the impact of line winds of 34 knots in the area that could be affected, in a time of between 72 and 24 hours, depending on its intensity. The risk in this stage is considered low. During this stage bulletins are issued every 12 hours.
Prepare the following when a Hurricane Watch is announced.
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Portable, battery-operated radios and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Gas up cars
- Keeping a supply of cash for emergencies
- Back up the hard drive of the computers
- Mobile phones full charged and extra chargers for cars
- Print hard copies of arrivals, departures, roundtrips and hotels rooming lists or changes in order to be able to handle the information after the hurricane, in case of a lack of electricity
- Trust and be sure that your hotel staff will continuously stay informed with Civil Protection Department about the status of the upcoming hurricane and designated local shelters.
- Review guests’ evacuation plan together with your tour operators Representatives
Yellow Alert. Set when a tropical cyclone is at a distance such as to predict the impact of line winds of 34 knots in the area that could be affected, in a time of between 60 and 12 hours, depending on its intensity. It is considered that the risk is moderate. During this period bulletins will be issued with a frequency of at least every 6 hours.
Orange Alert. Impact line winds of 34 knots, in the area between 36 and 6 hours, depending on its intensity. The danger is considered as high. During this stage updates will be issued at a frequency of at least every 3 hours.
Red Alert. Set when the line winds of 34 knots is a tropical cyclone impacting the area, or that may affect in a time equal to or less than 18 hours, depending on the intensity of the cyclone. This stage is considered of maximum danger and during it updates will be issued at a frequency of at least every 3 hours.
DURING THE HURRICANE
- Everybody stays inside safe hotels & shelters; away from windows, skylights, and glass doors
- Keep mobile phones charged as long as possible
Guests should be aware that when the calm “eye” is deceptive; the hurricane is not over. The worst part of the storm will happen once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings, and other objects damaged by the first winds can be broken or destroyed by the second winds. The opposing winds begin suddenly, and have surprised and injured many people who ventured out during the eye. Stay tuned to local news on radio for the latest weather conditions
AFTER THE HURRICANE
- Once the hurricane warning has been lifted, continue listening to local radio for information and instructions
- Use telephone only for emergency calls. Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed after the hurricane but they need to be clear for emergency calls to get through
- Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding and avoid disaster areas
- Try to get in contact with all tour operators to report up-to-date information after the hurricane
- Get in contact with airlines in order to know the status of new flights schedules
- Get in contact with the local airport for up-to-date information of its status after the disaster