The dangerous weather system made landfall late Sunday night in the southern Baja California Peninsula making it the strongest hurricane on record in the region. Odile struck tourist attraction Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, bringing with it strong winds and causing copious amounts of damage. At landfall the Category 3 storm was recorded as having up to 125 mph winds.
About 30,000 tourists were evacuated and advised to take refuge in one of the 164 shelters set up in Baja California Sur. A hot spot for many travelers, Cabo San Lucas is home to numerous hotels and resorts. Although known for leisure and relaxation, these destination getaways are still organizations that need plans that will ensure employee and guest safety as well as prepare them for a disaster. Hotel guests and employees hunkered down in conference rooms and interior hallways to shield themselves from howling winds and various types of debris.
When it comes to natural disasters, some property damage is imminent, but it is important for employers to arm themselves with the knowledge to better equip their staff in the event of a natural disaster. Tourists can also take certain steps to guarantee their safety such as:
1. Research vacation destinations to learn about what natural disasters pose threats to the area.
2. Contact hotels and ask if they have an emergency evacuation plan or general incident management plan.
3. View weather patterns for that particular area when booking your trip to avoid visiting during a natural disaster, i.e., are you booking your trip during hurricane season?
While Hurricane Odile is moving north and losing strength, residents fear that the worst is still to come. The storm dumped 6-12 inches of rain in the region making flash floods and mudslides a probable threat. Officials also worry that Odile will cause a moisture surge in the Southwestern US which could cause flash flooding in the area. This news is especially important for residents in that region, since many are still reeling from the damage of the flash floods brought on by Hurricane Norbert.
As always, Preparis is your source for emergency and disaster preparedness. If you have any concerns or just want to know how to prepare your business for a hurricane, you can access our hurricane checklist here http://www2.preparis.com/checklists/hurricane.