What to do before, during and after an earthquake?
After the earthquake we just experienced, we have to understand that Mexico City is a seismic zone, as it was built on a lagoon, so it is important for us as citizens to know how to react to an earthquake or any telluric movement. The following advice is given by the Secretary of Civil Protection in conjunction with the National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED):
- Keep non-perishable food as well as important documents and an emergency phone book at hand.
- Check your home installations in order to detect any faults that may endanger your safety.
- Adapt your home in such a way as to facilitate the displacement of disabled or elders in the event of an emergency. Wherever you are, identify evacuation routes, safety zones and meeting points.
- First of all, remain calm as you will make better decisions if you do not panic. Head to a safety zone without running, screaming or pushing.
- At home, avoid standing under windows and objects that may fall, such as lamps or booksellers. On the street, make sure you stay away from balconies, buildings and light poles. Beware that windows and debris may fall.
- If possible, turn off the gas taps and the power supply as well as all heat sources to prevent any fire.
- If you find yourself driving, pull in a safe place away from poles, bridges and buildings. Keep calm as you may cause an accident if you speed.
- Check your house in order to identify any cracks, ask Civil Protection authorities to perform a proper assessment. If your home has serious structural damage, do not stay inside because it may collapse.
- Make sure there are no gas leaks before turning on the stove or using electrical appliances.
- Stay informed through official sources, do not propagate rumors and heed the recommendations of the authorities.
- Make sure no one is injured, especially the elders and disabled.
We have shown that we can overcome disasters with the unity of our people, however being informed is the best way to be prepared on this type of scenarios.