By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
After the Friday, Feb. 16, magnitude 7.2 earthquake and a magnitude 5.8 aftershock just one hour later – both coming close on the heels of two devastating quakes on Sept. 7 and 19 that cost Mexico nearly $30 billions in damages, destroyed more than 1,800 historical landmarks and left more than 450 people dead nationwide, Mexicans, especially those living in Mexico City and Oaxaca, are understandably nervous that the next “big one” could hit any minute.
Fortunately, there seems to have been no major damages or serious injuries as a result of these latest quakes.
But even when the seismic alarm does work – it went off in Mexico City Friday for the 7.2 quake, but not for the 5.8 aftershock – there are always fears that a powerful tremor could catch families and loved ones off-guard.
Unfortunately, there are no sure ways to predict when an earthquake will strike, but we at Pulse News Mexico want to offer the following suggestions to help you sleep better at night and be better prepared if disaster does strike again:
- When you lock your door at night, be sure to leave the keys in the door or next to the door in an easily accessible place that all household members know and can get to in the dark.
- Turn off your gas keys when not in use, so if there is a quake, the chances of a leak are minimized.
- Have a flashlight with new batteries next to the keys, along with important documents and papers,as well as an extra charger for cell phones and enough water and food in a go bag to last for you and your family for three days,
- Keep all doors and windows shut whenever possible, since this will increase the stability of the structure you live in.
- Have a metal pot or another potential alarm by the bed of each family member so that they can wake the others quickly if needed.
- Always keep your cell phone charged and easily accessible.
- Sleep in pajamas or sweatpants so that you can evacuate your home if necessary without having to stop to dress, and have comfortable, easy-to-put-on shoes with rubber soles next to your bed.
- If you do have to evacuate your building, remain calm and walk, don’t run, as this can cause hysteria and accidents.
- If you cannot get out of your building, take cover under a sturdy table or desk and cover your head.