Some Earthquake Information Worth Considering

  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.

  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 the object, the  stronger, and the less it will compact. 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.


  1) Most everyone who simply "ducks and covers"
  when buildings collapse are crushed to death. People who get under
objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

  2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up  in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural  safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to  an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will  compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

  3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of  construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves  with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse,  large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less  concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into  individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed  bodies than concrete slabs.

  4) If you are in bed during the night and an  earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist  around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in  earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every  room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of  the bed during an earthquake.

  5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot  easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl  up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.

  6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when  buildings collapse is
killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the  doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling  above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the  doorway. In either case, you will be killed!

  7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a  different "moment of
frequency" (they swing separately from the main  part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building  continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs  takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped  up by the stair treads - horribly mutilated. Even if the building  doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely  part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed  by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing  people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of  the building is not damaged.

  8) Get near the outer walls of buildings or  outside of them if possible. It is much better to be near the outside of  the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from  the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that  your escape route will be blocked.

  9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed  when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles;  which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the  Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed  inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily  survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles.
  Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall  directly across them.

  10) I discovered, while crawling inside of  collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that  paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of  paper.

  Spread the word and save someone's life!


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