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Old 09-12-2004, 01:04 PM   #1
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Thought that I'd post this very insightful article on what to do when in an earthquake.



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HIGH POINTS FROM DOUG COPP'S ARTICLE* ON THE \"TRIANGLE OF* LIFE\",

Edited by Larry Linn for MAA Safety Committee brief on* 4/13/04.

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 (UNX051 -UNIENET) 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 doin! g 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, 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. They are everywhere.

I trained the Fire Department of Trujillo (population 750,000) in how to survive, take care of their families, and to rescue others in earthquakes. The chief of rescue in the Trujillo Fire Department is a professor at Trujillo University. He accompanied me everywhere.* He gave personal testimony: \"My name is* Roberto Rosales. I am Chief of Rescue in Trujillo. When I was 11 years old, I was trapped inside of a collapsed building. My entrapment occurred during the earthquake of 1972 that killed 70,000 people. I survived in the \"triangle of life\" that existed next to my brother's motorcycle. My friends who got under the bed and under desks were crushed to death [he gives more details, names, addresses etc.]...I am* the living example of the \"triangle of life\". My dead friends are the example of \"duck and cover\".

TIPS DOUG COPP PROVIDES:

1) Everyone who simply \"ducks and covers\" WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE is crushed
to death -- every time, without exception. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are always crushed.

2) Cats, dogs and babies all naturally often 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. The reason is simple: the 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 while you are watching television 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) Everybody 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. They are 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 screaming, 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, says the author.* 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.
It could save some lives! Ya never know....
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Old 09-15-2004, 05:26 PM   #2
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Found this information on snopes (a good source for whats true and whats not on the 'net).
Seems that the article you quoted has had some controversy.
Hope i'm never in an earthquake. Last i heard standing in a door is a good idea. Now i have no idea

Thanks for posting the article though - food for thought, when i'd never even considered it before.
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Old 10-18-2004, 12:22 AM   #3
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Interesting Wyz...

Yeah, now what ?
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Old 04-12-2005, 10:22 PM   #4
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Amen TP, GREAT post. This info can really save your life.

Also, more safety tips. Most people do not pay attention to this sort of thing..but on my last trip to Europe this summer I noticed the lack of smoke detectors, and fire escapes, in most hostels and pensions I stayed at. Actually, not one hostel, or pension, I stayed had a smoke detector in the room or the hallway outside the room. Not a single one. Granted this was mostly Eastern Europe, but none the less.. I came up with a great idea for a "travel smoke detector". It turns out there's already one being made. I'll have to come up with a new idea

http://www.walkabouttravelgear.com/smoke.htm

One other important suggestion..where ever you are staying, always make sure you know an emergency escape route. Just take 2 minutes and look for a fire escape, a balcony, or something just so you know what to do in case of a fire. Remember that moke and heat travel up, so the stairwell you go up to your room may be blocked in a fire from below, and due to the lack of smoke detectors (see above) you may not notice until it's too late.

It's been awhile since I've been on this board, it's good to see everyone still here keeping it real. Travel safe!
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Old 04-13-2005, 06:16 AM   #5
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Hmm...if a ceiling collapses and crushes a big ass oak table, it doesn't also collapse and crush what is next to the table? sooooooo confused
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Old 04-13-2005, 06:53 AM   #6
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okay I drew a pic and it's bad but this is what he means



upper left > concrete falling
upper right > concrete crushes table thus crushing person
lower left > concrete falling persing lying next to couch (yes that is a couch)
lower right> concrete crates a void where person was lying..

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Old 04-13-2005, 07:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
then lie down and curl up in the fetal position*
Cool, that's what I do in a panic anyway. He forgot to mention uncontrolibile sobbing and peeing yourself.
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Old 04-13-2005, 09:13 AM   #8
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wow adam, you REALLY have a lot of free time on your hands over there...lol

thanx for the pics, it does make more sense now...

but i really think right place right time and wrong place wrong time is they way it works in disasters....interesting, indeed
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Old 04-13-2005, 10:08 AM   #9
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Shit - that would have been helpful to know last month when I was in Taiwan and we had a quake. I was sitting in my hotel room, not really knowing what the fuck to do. Luckily, no celings collapsed. Plus, I was on the top floor, so I think I might have been headed DOWN.
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Old 06-03-2005, 02:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by agriadam@Apr 13 2005, 05:52 AM
okay I drew a pic and it's bad but this is what he means


lol....dude, that is a sick pic.

hahahahah
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Old 11-10-2005, 01:52 AM   #11
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good thread. I don't know how i missed this before!

nice drawing adam!
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Old 12-05-2005, 06:27 PM   #12
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hahaha it is a great drwing so detailed too
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:05 PM   #13
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WOW this is a blast from the past

hahahaha

i think that was about my 50th post or something
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"Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once."
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