New Earthquake Safety Survival Plan
What We Learned About Earthquake Survival in School
"Earthquake Safety - Finding the Void in Earthquake Survival"
When I was in school, many, many years ago, we had weekly disaster survival drills for fire, earthquake and even the Nuclear Bomb. But, when I look back to those safety techniques, I must say, I wasn't safe at all. Other than the absurd tactic of covering my head with my arms and getting under my desk should an atom bombed be dropped on us, the earthquake safety drills had to be the worst.
Surviving Powerful Earthquakes
The power of an earthquake can shake a room to pieces, causing debris to fall from everywhere, and walls to crumble and ceilings to collapse under the stress of all of that plate shifting. Standing in a doorway has long been the "right" response to defending yourself against the events surrounding an active earthquake encounter. I have recently been reading some new and modern ideas about earthquake survival, and what is being said makes me start to believe that just about everything I learned in school regarding earthquake safety, has been wrong!
Are You Ready For the Earthquake Called, "The Big One"
To be really ready for "the big one" that we Californian's and the Japanese people are always waiting for, a few revisions to the old school rules may be in order. As you read through the suggestions, you will need to decide for yourself if these new techniques fit into your family's earthquake preparedness plan. As different as the techniques may seem, that difference might just be what saves you during an earthquake of mass proportions!
Earthquake Survival Poll
Have you ever experienced a big earthquake?
Doug Copp's Proven "Triangle of Life"
Doug Copp is the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager for "America Rescue Team International" (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team. His techniques have been under scrutiny for a little while now, however after watching a program on "Real TV," for me personally, I find his techniques worthy to employ during a big earthquake. This guy has been at, close to, one thousand major disasters throughout the world since 1985, only missing the big stuff when more than one situation happened at a time. Copp and his team are literally the "go-to earthquake guys" for every country in the world, no exaggeration.
In 1996, Copp made a film regarding earthquake survival. His film has changed forever the way we need to react in a critical earthquake event. If you want to have a better chance of living during any of the biggest earthquakes from California to Japan, start paying attention right now! Here is what Copp's proven "triangle of life" method teaches us to do If you can not escape to the outdoors during an earthquake:
Large Earthquake Frequency of Occurrence
8.5 - 8.9
8.0 - 8.4
7.5 - 7.9
7.0 - 7.4
6.5 - 6.9
6.0 - 6.4
Doug Copp offers Public Safety Videos on the Triangle of Life safety procedure
Going From 0% to 100% Earthquake Survival
Doug Copp conducted a scientifically managed survival test. He placed several mannequins in a school house, 10 positioned in the familiar "duck and cover" pose, and the other 10 in his "triangle of life" position. He then simulated a huge earthquake whereas the building collapsed around the mannequins.
Next, he crawled into the ruble and filmed the actual results. What was the shocking outcome of this experiment you ask? The "duck and cover" mannequins would have experienced a probable 0% survival rate, while the "triangle of life" mannequins would have likely experienced a 100% survival rate. AMAZING!
There are Always Earthquake Skeptics
Some question the experiment due to the different construction applications around the world; some countries build better structures than others. This experiment was conducted in Turkey (under the supervision of educated, professional scientist), bringing to question if western construction is a viable comparison. After you read Copp's advice, you must decide for yourself if you think Copp's plan is an effective safety tool for surviving a large earthquake where you live.
Staying Alive During an Earthquake
Why Is The Survival Rate So High In The Triangle Of Life Scenario
According to Copp's findings, when an earthquake causes the ceilings to fall in, this abundant weight crushes the objects and furniture, but leaves a void next to the items. This space is Copp's "triangle of life."
Size of Objects Matter During Big Earthquake Survival
The larger and more sturdy an object is, the less it will be crushed and compact. It is when people use these objects the probability to stay safe increases greatly. Copp suggest that next time you see a collapsed building on TV, or otherwise, take a look to see how many triangle shaped voids you can find. They are everywhere, the triangle shape is formed more often than any other shape known to man. Please make note that getting under desks or a bed rarely offer you the chance at survival, because it's nearly impossible for a triangle shaped void to be created.
Triangle Of Life Earthquake Survival Graphic
A Couple of Doug Copp's Earthquake Survival Tips
- Almost without fail, those who simply "duck and cover" during a building collapse will be crushed to death. Everyone who gets under desks or cars is crushed to death.
- Like dogs, cats, and babies, the fetal position is a natural safety survival pose. This is the perfect position to take when in an earthquake. This allows you to fit into a smaller void, next to a couch, or other bulky object that won't compress a lot, leaving room for you to tuck yourself safely into.
- Wooden constructed buildings are safer than concrete slab, and brick structures. The wood will bend and flex with the quake, and if it does collapse, several wooden boards will provide lots of safety voids. Brick buildings will break apart, tossing hard heavy bricks that can cause injury and crush you, while a concrete slab is just a death sentence.
- If you're in bed at night (or anytime for that matter) and an earthquake hits, simply roll off of the bed and lay NEXT to it (never under it), as this is where the biggest void will be. Copp says that hotels could increase survival rates in earthquakes by posting a sign on the back of room doors that advise just this.
- Everyone who is under a door jam during a building collapse is killed. If the door jam falls back or forward the falling building will crush you. If the door jam falls to the side you will get cut in half by the doorway. Either way, you are going to die if you stand in the door jam during a building collapse.
- Avoid stairs during earthquakes. They are independently constructed from the building and will often fail due to the quake (even if the building doesn't collapse).
- If you are in your car you will be crushed if an overhead road, bridge, or construction slab falls on you. In the San Francisco earthquake the people stayed in their cars, and subsequently were crushed by the falling sections of bridge. Had they been able to roll out of their cars and sit or lie next to them, they would have survived. According to Copp, a 3 foot safety void was created next to these crushed vehicles.
- Significant voids are found next to large stacks of paper, as paper will not compact. So, if it is at all possible, snuggle up in the fetal position next to a large pile of stacked newspapers!
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