Earthquake Precautions

Because you never know; especially in areas where there is frequent earthquake activity.

A very interesting read, which goes against everything you’ve probably been told about how to survive an earthquake. And in fact was quite controversial when it came out in 2004. Here in Canada, fifteen years later, the federal government hasn’t adopted any of it, but then, the feds won’t even allow AEDs, which are literally everywhere today, in any of their office buildings, citing legal issues. An AED is an automated external defibrillator, a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the life-threatening signs of a heart attack and able to treat them through defibrillation. They have and are, saving thousands of lives, unlike the advice given that in an earthquake, crawl under the desk, kitchen table or doorway, or simply duck.

Spread the word to everyone you care about and maybe save a life one day.

From Doug Copp’s article on the “triangle of life”, edited by Larry Linn for MAA Safety Committee brief on April 13th 2004.

“My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world’s most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake. I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries. I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985; except for simultaneous disasters. In 1996 we made a film which proved my survival methodology to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul, University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did ‘duck and cover,’ and ten mannequins I used in my ‘triangle of life’ survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results. The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions, relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover. There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the ‘triangle of life.’ This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and it was seen in the USA, Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV. The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under their desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn’t at the time know that the children were told to hide under something. Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the ‘triangle of life’.

The larger and stronger the object, the less it will compact, and the less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the ‘triangles’ you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building. They are everywhere.”

Copp’s Ten Tips for Earthquake Safety