MEXICO CITY — Before hurricane season begins in Mexico, citizens should be attentive to reports from authorities on the hurricane alert level.
The Early Warning System of Tropical Cyclones (SIAT-CT) uses a color-coded five-level alert system to inform the public of the varying degrees of danger, so that various preventive measures can be carried out to minimize effects.
Blue corresponds to a minimal threat and means that a tropical cyclone is approaching the Mexican coast, so citizens should check the weather report, says the National Civil Protection System.
Luis Felipe Puente, the national coordinator of the organization, posted an infographic on his Twitter account. The infographic shows that green means a low risk level.
Estamos a punto de comenzar la temporada de #LluviasYCiclones el 15 de mayo, conoce el Sistema de Alerta Temprana pic.twitter.com/sdTImQMJp6
— Luis Felipe Puente (@LUISFELIPE_P) May 10, 2016
At this level it is recommended to prune tree branches that may be obstructing power cables which could potentially pose a risk; clean roofs, drains and gutters; avoid littering; clean up waste surrounding drainage; place tape across windows and glass areas; and secure objects that could be thrown by the wind.
Moderate risk is represented by the color yellow. At this level, it is necessary to identify temporary shelters nearby; store food and drinking water; and be prepared with an emergency kit, with items such as a flashlight, radio, first aid kit, and important documents protected with plastic bags.
If the alert shows the color orange, it symbolizes a high level of risk. People should evacuate high-risk areas, seek temporary shelter if housing is insecure, monitor the water levels if you live near a river or lake, close doors and windows and turn off the gas supply and electricity.
In case of maximum danger, represented by the color red, the population should remain calm, stay away from windows to prevent injury, and stay at home or at a shelter until authorities have informed the public that the danger is over.
In Mexico, the hurricane season begins in May and lasts until November. On average there are 25 meteorological events of this nature a year, with about four actually touching ground.