How to Survive An Earthquake

Reviewing message boards late one night, I became captivated reviewing a thread regarding an excerpt from an article written about Doug Copp, rescue chief and disaster manager for the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team. The message was linked to the Web site listed as the source (Bytes For All).

My curiosity aroused, I clicked and read a brief but fascinating synopsis of Copp's method for surviving an earthquake. He even made an instructional film about it. Copp's theory about survival: "The height of the object that remains acts as a kind of roofbeam to the void next to it, which will tend to end up with a sloping roof over it.' When buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside somewhat crushes them, but the height of the object that remains acts as a kind of roofbeam to the space or void next to it, which will tend to end up with a sloping roof over it.

"This space for survival Copp terms the triangle of life. The larger and stronger the object, the less it will compact. The less it compacts, the larger the void next to it will be. Such triangles are the most common shape to be found in a collapsed building."

The steps to survive the fall of a building due to an earthquake:

  • Move next to a solid object
  • Assume the fetal position
  • Avoid stairs
  • Avoid the bottom floor
  • Avoid doorways
  • Lie beside not inside your car
  • Move to near the outer walls of buildings or outside them

The advice Copp gives about not following his suggestions will stay with me for a while: "Everyone who simply ducks and covers when buildings collapse is crushed to death -- every time without exception."

Bytes For All

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