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Hurricane Odile Slams Baja Peninsula; Could Move to Southwest

Arizona Shelter

As Hurricane Odile forces tourists and residents of the Baja Peninsula of Mexico to seek safe shelter, the storm could pose a threat to residents of the Southwest later this week as the storm moves inland.

Odile is hitting the Baja Peninsula with 110 mph winds, coastal flooding and as much as a foot of rain. The region is a popular vacation spot and at least 15,000 tourists were vacationing when the storm hit, according to Mexican officials. If someone in the United States is trying to check on a loved one in Baja, they can contact the State Department’s Overseas Citizen Services at 1-888-407-4747.

People in the path of this storm can download the free Red Cross hurricane app for mobile devices. The app monitors weather conditions in the area, finds help and gives users a way to let others know they are safe even if the power is out.

SOUTHWEST THREATENED As the hurricane moves north, it could bring strong wind and heavy rain to southern California, Arizona and New Mexico later this week. Residents in that region should prepare now for the storm by doing the following:

  • Listen to local media or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about the storm.
  • Prepare your disaster kit. Include a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, batteries, a first aid kit, medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of important documents and a cell phone with charger and extra cash.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind such as garbage cans and lawn furniture.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep closed as much as possible so food lasts longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off the propane tank and unplug small appliances.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Residents should find out about their community’s disaster response plan, including shelter locations. If it becomes necessary to evacuate, plan your route to the shelter and be ready to register family members with special medical needs.

    Don’t forget your pets. Check if the community will have pet shelters or make plans for your pets to be cared for.

    Obey orders from local officials. If ordered to evacuate, leave the area and don’t return until officials say it is safe to do so. Avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.