The role of bicycles in disaster emergency response. Case: Mexico City earthquake 09/19/2017
We'll talk about the super important role bicycles, cyclists and infrastructure played in the immediate response to distribute food, tools, medicines and whatever was needed in a full collapsed city after a 7.2 earthquake happened in the limits of Puebla on September 19th 2017.
The earthquake happened at 1:15 pm on a Tuesday, most families were apart since it was work and school hours. Due to proximity to the city and depth, the 7.2 earthquake left lots of damages in the city: around 50 collapsed buildings, some areas were completely inaccesible by car either because of road damages or because of traffic congestion, the almost 10 million residents of the city and the nearly 10 million floating population were trying to go back home in their own cars, walking or finding rides. Public transportation systems were collapsed because 90% of the city was under power outage. The first people to mobilize and who were actually able to help were (yes, you guessed!): CYCLISTS.
People of all walks of life, commuters, messengers, street workers, or pretty much anyone with a semi-functional bike took their vehicles and took the streets to distribute whatever was needed. This made some of us re-think how our cities are planned (if they even are) to face disasters that might happen in the future.
In this workshop we'll talk more details on this experience, we'll bring a couple testimony, and we'll make an exercise with participants so they can asses the risks their cities face and evaluate if they are ready to respond to such crisis.