California’s International Coordination with Mexico During Hurricane Hilary


California continues its international leadership in the response to a historic storm impacting western North America, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) worked with the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. Facilitating ongoing communication between both nations and consulates in California was integral given this natural disaster crossed borders.

Before making landfall in California, Cal OES began preparations at home by strategically pre-positioning personnel, materials, and equipment to keep California’s safe. As California prepared at home, Cal OES coordinated with it’s neighbors to the south.

In Baja California, Cal OES before, during and after shared relevant information with the state’s Civil Protection Agency. Baja California Civil Protection Agency worked closely with the seven local municipalities in the state to assist them in their hurricane preparedness efforts, especially Mexicali and San Quintin.

Civil Protection Baja California Sur primarily focused on coordinating with the five local municipalities in the state, especially in areas like Mulegé where Hurricane Hilary made landfall. Santa Rosalia, a city in Mulegé, experienced heavy flooding and one fatality.

These efforts fall under the umbrella of the Commission of the Californias (COMCAL). On December 4, 2019, by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the governments of the State of California, the State of Baja California, and the State of Baja California Sur reinstated COMCAL. This Commission re-established a forum to share information concerning common challenges and to discuss the development of collective solutions to those common challenges.