Hurricanes can be a major natural disaster. And for those who bear the brunt of such a storm, it is an urgent situation – especially for poorer communities which don’t have the infrastructure quality to stand up against it. However, when we’re talking about hurricanes in Playa del Carmen, there are three points to remember – we’ll call them the “3 Rs” of hurricanes:
- Real – They do come through the area.
- Rare – While it’s very common (annual) to get the tail end of a hurricane, or the heavy rain out on the edge of the storm, it’s rare that a hurricane hits the town or even surrounding area directly.
- Reduced Risk – A property owner may only have to deal with true hurricane winds once a decade or less. Following a few simple tips, the risk of damage and loss even at these rare times can be greatly reduced.
These points are true of other hurricane regions in Mexico, like the Pacific Coast.
Each of the following features will make a home less susceptible to damage in the rare case that hurricane should strike directly:
Distance from the oceanfront – Tropical storms are more intense directly on the oceanfront since there are fewer barriers to the water. Further back from the beach, it’s also less likely that water levels would rise into the buildings.
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Upper stories – Especially closer to the beach, but also in places where the building sits lower than surrounding land, having a condo on the second story or higher will avoid the risk of water entering from flooding streets or patios.
Tidy neighborhood – The greatest risk of damage is broken windows; if a window breaks, rain water pours in, and can damage items inside. This is more likely when a neighborhood has a good deal of loose objects. Every neighborhood has objects sitting around. But are they patio chairs that people will probably put away or abandoned bricks and debris?
Storm shutters – Metal, accordion-style curtains on the outside of windows will protect against any flying objects that are around. This is a one-time cost which is usually very reasonably priced. It also provides extra security in general since most can be locked with a key.
With these features in place, the risk of damage is greatly reduced even if a hurricane happens to strike directly.
Owners can also purchase insurance plans especially designed for those who live in hurricane-prone regions.
From a perspective of lifestyle, the risk of damage can be greatly reduced by looking for the simple features above. From an investment perspective, sufficient protection against loss is also fairly simple and owners can own a property in places like Playa del Carmen without significant risk.