Editor's Note: The nice thing about hurricanes is that you have plenty of warning these days. They don't just come out of the sky unannounced. If you are at the beach (and visiting) and a hurricane is coming, leave! If you are in Merida or somewhere inland, you might also consider leaving... or sit it out. If you live in Yucatan, make plans for yourself and your pets. You might also like to read the article linked at the end of this article about our experience in Yucatan with hurricanes.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and the U.S. Consulates General in Mexico remind U.S. citizens that hurricane season is from May 15 to November 30 in the Pacific, and from June 1 to November 30 in the Atlantic. In the coming days, the Department of State will also issue a Travel Alert to remind U.S. citizens around the world of the upcoming season.
U.S. citizens planning to visit places that are vulnerable to hurricanes should be aware of the chance of storms and make a plan in case of emergency. Even inland areas far from the coast can experience destructive winds, tornadoes, and floods from tropical storms and hurricanes. In the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Consulates General will monitor the storm and send email messages to U.S. citizens who have enrolled with us. The Department of State may also issue a Travel Alert or Travel Warning to apprise the public of the situation.
Please check your passport and those of your family members to assure that they are still valid. As you may need to travel to the United States (or elsewhere) on short notice, it is important to have valid travel documents so that your trip is not unnecessarily delayed. If you plan to travel to the United States, please also ensure that any non-U.S. citizen family members also have valid Lawful Permanent Resident cards or U.S. visas or visit our website at mx.usembassy.govfor more information on applying for a visa.
· Prior to leaving the United States, register your travel plans on the State Department’s travel enrollment website at https://step.state.gov/step/.
· Check with your tour operator, airline, or charter flight regarding services back to the United States in the event of a hurricane, and the possibility of early return if a storm is forecasted for your region.
· Activate your U.S. cell phone’s roaming service so that it works internationally to stay in regular contact with family and friends and advise them of your whereabouts.
· Research the region you are visiting and become familiar with local emergency procedures (www.travel.state.gov).
· Pack an emergency supply kit. Keep extra bottled water and non-perishable food items on hand.
· Keep 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.
· Protect your vital travel documents from potential water damage by placing them in a waterproof container.
· Obtain travel insurance prior to your trip to cover unexpected expenses in the event of an emergency (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/go/health/insurance-providers.html).
· Ensure your medical insurance covers costs associated with emergency situations (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1470.html).
· Consider what arrangements you will make for your pets. Please note that the Mexican authorities and the U.S. government do not make accommodations for the care or transportation of pets during storm-related emergencies or evacuations.
· Leave a detailed itinerary and your local contact information with a friend or family member in the United States.
· Make two photocopies of the biographic identification page of your passport, airline tickets, driver’s license, and any credit cards you plan to take. Leave one copy of each with family or friends at home, and pack the other copies separately from the originals. You may also wish to scan these documents and store them electronically, such as on a flash drive or in an email account. If using traveler’s checks, leave a copy of the serial numbers of your traveler’s checks with a friend or relative at home.
· Monitor local websites for storm-related information. In the country of Mexico, each state has a civil protection authority, called “Protección Civil,” that monitors storm progress and gives instructions on preparations, any need to evacuate coastal areas, etc. For Veracruz state, for example: http://www.veracruz.gob.mx/proteccioncivil/
· Please also visit the following U.S. government websites for more information:
Mexico Country Specific Information: http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html
Hurricane Season “Know Before You Go”: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/emergencies/natural-disasters/HurricaneSeason.html
National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
You have received this email message because you are enrolled with us. We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Mexico enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) attravel.state.gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Regularly monitor the Embassy website, State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, (including the Travel Warning for Mexico), Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Mexico. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.
Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is located at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, Mexico D.F., 06500 and is open from Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm, except for U.S. and Mexican holidays. Our telephone number during and outside of business hours is 011-52-555-080-2000.
For a full list of Consulates General and Consular Agencies in Mexico please visit our website at https://mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/