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Paul Clark of East Cape Homes – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Steel-framed, off the grid home, East Cape, Baja California Sur, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThere are definitely hurricanes in the Los Cabos and La Paz areas. The biggest hurricane we’ve had was Hurricane Odile a few years ago. We’ve had about eight hurricanes in the last 20 years. The most damage our house has endured was getting one broken window. We’re prepared for hurricanes by installing shutters on our windows. 
 
The storms usually don’t create a lot of damage. Odile, which went through San José del Cabo, was not a pretty sight at all. We’re on the east side, and hurricanes normally track north or northeast. Normally, the hurricanes track and go up the Pacific side and do not come up the Sea of Cortez. There is an occasional one that does, and the ones that do go up the Pacific side will bring a lot of rain to us. We always find the rain lovely.
 
There is a big issue with flooding in the Los Cabos area because of the only 4 - 6 inches of rain we get in a year. The big issue is with the lack of vegetation. This is because the rain that falls goes straight to the ocean. It’s not like a place with lots of vegetation where there’s absorption that slows down the flow of the water into the ocean. 
 
Most of the construction in the Los Cabos area is designed with flooding in mind. Los Cabos has a very good emergency government preparedness program. The government knows where the dangerous spots are in the Los Cabos area. When the government and residents of Los Cabos see a rainstorm coming, they immediately go out to communities that are in danger zones and evacuate people to schools or high ground. 
 
We felt a couple of tremors as well since Los Cabos is located near the Sea of Cortez, which is the extension of the San Andreas fault. All earthquakes in Los Cabos have been minor. Los Cabos is around 67 miles from the San Andreas Fault. The fault pushes us apart by millimeters a year. 
 
If you look up “US Geological,” you can see that earthquakes are quite common down the fault. We’ve only had minor earthquakes in Los Cabos, and we’ve been living here for 21 years. During the first earthquake I’ve experienced in Los Cabos, we were in La Paz when the light started swinging. It felt like a truck was rumbling down the street. Luckily, there was no damage. 
 
(Steel-framed, off the grid home, East Cape, Baja California Sur, Mexico, pictured.)
Bill Edsell of Ventana Bay Resort – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Domed roofs of Ventana Bay Resort, La Ventana Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMost houses have shutters that they put up in advance of a hurricane.  All our houses are designed to be ready for hurricanes.  For example, the palapa right in front of me now was designed to be open but is hinged so that, when we get a hurricane coming we just drop it down.  
 
Most of our houses have metal shutters that they put on usually when the people are not living in the house. The shutters help with security, but also in the event of a hurricane. I’ve been through Category 3 hurricanes here without a single window broken. 
 
You should plan for hurricanes. You want to probably have shutters for your house and if you’re planning to be here during hurricane season, you need to understand what’s involved.   You may be without power for a week or two, you may be without roads for a week or two, and so on. You need to have food and water, maybe you have a generator or solar, and then you have a specific room you’re going to go to in during a hurricane that’s well protected from the wind.   When it’s really blowing, things are blowing around. You can have a piece of wood or a tree just blow through the window and break it open and then you have glass lying around. So you want a place that you can go and just hunker down and ride it out.  
 
Relative to our situation here, the staff have their own families they have to protect, so you can’t depend on them to come, or even for the police to come, for the same reason. When the big hurricane hit Cabo a couple of years ago, everybody melted away. The governor didn’t handle it right. He should have brought in the National Guard or whatever because the police melted away. They were worried about their own families, and protected themselves.  
 
It was a bit of chaos, which you’re going to get anywhere. I don’t care if it’s LA or somewhere else. When the police are gone people just think, “Okay, I can go kick the door in a CostCo and get a generator or whatever I need."  There was no violence or anything but a lot of petty theft in Cabo.  
 
Here in La Ventana, we didn’t get hit like that, so there weren’t any of these types of issues. However, when one’s coming you don’t know. It might hit or it might not hit.  It might hit over there a hundred miles away and not here. So you just have to be ready. You know it’s coming. At least now we have communications and warnings so you know that it’s coming. So you stock up on food, water, and have your little hideout and you go in there. 
  
Relative to earthquakes, we felt tremors here but it didn’t do any damage. I often wondered about that because the San Andreas Fault line is right out here, but historically, I don’t know of any earthquakes that have done any damage in this area.  
 
The boveda (domed) roofs here are the strongest way you can build. You would think that they’re not reinforced but they are. One way to demonstrate this is with an egg.  Push down on just the top and bottom in order to try to break it.  You can’t. Why? Because it’s self-loading. It loads into itself and that’s what domes do.  It’s reinforced by its own structure like an egg.   
 
You could go to many places that have a lot of earthquakes, such as Mexico City, Turkey or Iran.  They have these domes that are hundreds or even thousands of years old, so you have a pretty good idea that they will hold up. 
 
 When you build here you’re supposed to do a soil sample to figure out how much foundation to use, but they just build for worst case. 
 
I’ve been in Baja for 35 years and never had any issues with earthquakes or tsunamis.  I’ve never even seen a fire here.  Flooding can be a problem. Two problems come from hurricanes—wind damage and water damage. When you see the the width and depth of the ravines here you can imagine the volume of water that comes down to cut into them to create them. You have to see them when they’re actually running to appreciate it. 
 
There’s one ravine that runs right through town, but I’ve never seen it going crazy.  I’ve been here for decades and I’ve seen some rain. Every year when we get the rain, our road gets washed out. I’ve been working on some catch basins on our property to slow the water down, which works really well. Eventually I’ll put underground tubes down the whole road, but right now, I just accept it.  When the rains bring enough water, the road washes out and I have to bring the loader and then fill it in. It’s not a big deal.  
 
(Domed roofs of Ventana Bay Resort, La Ventana Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico, pictured.)
Lana Nixon of La Ventana Bay Properties – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
La Ventana Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWe have hurricanes in Los Cabos and La Paz. There was a big hurricane in Los Cabos last year which was the worst hurricane they ever had. It was really scary for a lot of people and there were days where their power was out. A lot of buildings had major damage. The airport had major damage. We had limited damage here in La Ventana, though. (La Ventana is where I live and work, about 40 minutes from La Paz and two hours from Los Cabos, on the ocean.) We have not had a hurricane that left major damage in La Ventana. Even in La Paz, I can’t think of any hurricane that left a damage that wasn’t fixed within a couple of months. Cabo is now recovering from the hurricane damages from last year and it is almost like it never happened. 
 
Here in La Ventana, we are in a pocket where a lot of the heavy weather sort of misses. But yes, we are in an area where hurricanes happen. Whether a particular area is subjected to severe weather is also dependent on the temperature changes and weather patterns. Some areas here are already prepared for heavy flooding, and even though we haven’t really had any of that, it could certainly happen. 
 
The hurricanes always come from the Pacific. They are always swirling up but whether they are going to hit shore is another thing. La Paz seems to get more rain than La Ventana does. It could be raining in La Paz and it’s not raining in La Ventana. Rain is a big concern when there is a major hurricane. Sometimes it is an even bigger concern than wind because sudden torrential rain has nowhere to go and that would cause flooding. However, we have not had flooding here in La Ventana. Floods only happen when there is a hurricane but without the occurrence of a hurricane, there is rarely any precipitation here in Los Cabos, and La Paz area.
 
I couldn’t recall any earthquakes that happened since I’ve been here.  
 
(La Ventana Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico, pictured.)

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