The city of Cancun in Mexico is frequently subjected to the impact of hurricanes. Hurricane Wilma which passed through the city in 2005 has been the most devastating in the history of the Yucatan peninsula. The water and sanitation services operator of Cancun, Aguakan, has developed a manual of crisis procedures through which a risk management and crisis strategy is established. Through its experience in dealing with hurricane events, Aguakan has derived a series of lessons that have contributed to the rapid response and recovery of the water services. Among the lessons learned, the support to the staff and their families, the provision of a specific crisis fund and the signature of cooperation agreements with institutions and companies outside the disaster area have been key to the reestablishment of the water and sanitation services. The objective of this work is to present the lessons learned by Aguakan through the preparation, response and recovery from hurricane events and in particular to hurricane Wilma. The lessons learned constitute a contribution towards the development of a preparedness, response and recovery framework for hurricane-disaster scenarios.
- © IWA Publishing 2008