No one likes to think about disaster striking, but you'll be glad you prepared if (knock on wood) anything emergencylike were to happen. So post these phone numbers in a handy place and perhaps even write out your own address and contact information
too, just in case someone is calling on your behalf.
When preparing for an emergency, keep in mind that speed isn't exactly a forté here in San Miguel. Sometimes the police respond very quickly to the report of a crime...and sometimes they don't. Same with ambulances. As of this writing, the Red Cross staff for all of San Miguel includes only 11 people. If you are seriously ill, it might be faster to simply call a nearby friend or neighbor and ask them to get you to the hospital.
The all purpose emergency number is 911. In a true emergency, it's best to dial this
number because it is from here that trained workers coordinate the police, firefighters and emergency medical crews that can and should be sent to your location. As of 2014, the 911 service is bilingual. If you dial 911 and there is no answer (scary, but it has been known to happen), try one of the Police/Public security numbers below.
Note: While we have done our best to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is the user's responsibility to verify that this information is current and to familiarize themselves with emergency procedures.
|The police force in San Miguel is small; be proactive and take preventative measures to keep your home and yourself safe.|
Red Cross (ambulance)
415.152.1616 *In an emergency call 911
|In non-emergency situations, Red Cross administration can be reached at 415.152.4225 and email@example.com|
|emergency||urgencia||(er HEN see ah)|
|firefighter||bombero||(bom BEH roh)|
|electricity||electricidad||(ee leck trees ee DAHD)|
|gas leak||fuga de gas||(fuga deh gahs)|
|I need a doctor||Necesito un doctor||(nes eh SEE toe oon doctor)|
|It's very serious||Está muy grave||(es TA moo ee GRAH veh)|
CULTURE TIP #1
Wait for it...wait for it...and wait some more. If you look up the word "ahora" in a Spanish/ English dictionary, it will be translated as "now." What the dictionary doesn't say is that "now" is a pretty relative term to Mexicans, especially those living in SMA, a smaller and much slower town than say, Mexico City.
If someone says "Voy a empezar a cocinar ahora" ("I'm going to start cooking now") it doesn't necessarily mean right now. It could mean the now that happens in the next hour. Or two. Ahora mismo is closer to the (right) now that Americans think of, as is ahorita, but neither are really any more precise. Both can mean in a few minutes or in a little while. Sure, you can press people for an exact time, and they might give you one, but that doesn't mean it's definitive.
Similarly, just because the sign says the store opens at 10am doesn't mean the doors are going to open at 10. When you read these signs, imagine the words mas o menos (more or less) written after each time.
What is an American to do?! Relax. Is it frustrating? Sure, it can be. Is it life threatening? Probably not. You'll be doing yourself a big favor if you start to think of time as a mas o menos kind of thing.
Fortunately, this mindset can also work in your favor. I came home one day to see my plumber sitting in front of my house, waiting for me to arrive. Did he expect me to be home, not having made an exact appointment? No. Was he irritated? Not at all.
Most everyone will wait patiently for you, so try to show them the same courtesy. I suggest that when you are out and about, carry a book or notepad with you so that you can occupy yourself while you wait. Read your Spanish- English dictionary. Meditate. Contemplate. The line at La Comer isn't going to move any faster if you are sighing dramatically and glaring at the cashier. Instead, breathe deeply. Find someone to smile at, and go home happy.