As this is being written, the death toll stands at more than 200.
The earthquake that struck Mexico City and surrounding area hard on Tuesday afternoon, came on the anniversary of a quake in Mexico in 1985 that killed thousands. Marking the anniversary, those in the city had, mere minutes before the shaker hit, conducted an earthquake drill.
While not as deadly as the 1985 quake, hundreds dead is still an almost unimaginable number. It hits right in the heart that more than 20 of those are children, killed when a wing of their school collapsed.
This quake is also a terrible reminder to us, living in a quake zone where we’re told the “big one” could hit at any time, that we need to be prepared.
When was the last time you did an earthquake drill? Do you know what your plan is should a quake hit when you’re at home? At work? Where’s your rally point? Have you picked someone outside of your immediate area who can act as a check in person for your whole family, should communications be compromised?
What about your earthquake box? When was the last time you took a look at it? Do you even remember where it is?
If you do nothing else, at least ponder these questions.
None of us are immune to the whim of nature, whether we live in a city of 21 million (Mexico City) or the far more rural Cowichan Valley. When a quake hits we are still vulnerable to injury or death.
How much of our infrastructure will hold up to an earthquake depends on the strength and duration of the quake as much as our building codes. We can, and should, do things like seismically upgrade the Silver Bridge, but we are still unable to make ourselves immune to a quake’s effects.
All we can do is make ourselves safer. A big part of that is being prepared. Are you?