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EARTHQUAKE SURVIVAL
EARTHQUAKE SURVIVAL
EARTHQUAKE SURVIVAL

PLEASE PAY ATTENTION AND FORWARD THIS INFORMATION FAR AND WIDE!

WHY HAVE WE NOT BEEN TOLD THESE THINGS SOONER??????

EXTRACT FROM DOUG COPP'S ARTICLE ON THE "TRIANGLE OF LIFE",
Omega-News: TRIANGLE OF LIFE - Earthquake Safety Information
http://omega.twoday.net/stories/308957/
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 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, 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.


One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible aftereffects. An earthquake is a sudden movement of the earth, caused by the abrupt release of strain that has accumulated over a long time. For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate tectonics have shaped the earth, as the huge plates that form the earth’s surface slowly move over, under, and past each other. Sometimes, the movement is gradual. At other times, the plates are locked together, unable to release the accumulating energy. When the accumulated energy grows strong enough, the plates break free. If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries and extensive property damage.

Map of eathquake hazard areas in the united states

Know the Terms

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify an earthquake hazard:

Earthquake
A sudden slipping or movement of a portion of the earth’s crust, accompanied and followed by a series of vibrations.

Aftershock
An earthquake of similar or lesser intensity that follows the main earthquake.

Fault
The fracture across which displacement has occurred during an earthquake. The slippage may range from less than an inch to more than 10 yards in a severe earthquake.

Epicenter
The place on the earth’s surface directly above the point on the fault where the earthquake rupture began. Once fault slippage begins, it expands along the fault during the earthquake and can extend hundreds of miles before stopping.

Seismic Waves
Vibrations that travel outward from the earthquake fault at speeds of several miles per second. Although fault slippage directly under a structure can cause considerable damage, the vibrations of seismic waves cause most of the destruction during earthquakes.

Magnitude
The amount of energy released during an earthquake, which is computed from the amplitude of the seismic waves. A magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter Scale indicates an extremely strong earthquake. Each whole number on the scale represents an increase of about 30 times more energy released than the previous whole number represents. Therefore, an earthquake measuring 6.0 is about 30 times more powerful than one measuring 5.0.

Take Protective Measures

Before an Earthquake

The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of an earthquake:

  • Repair defective electrical wiring, leaky gas lines, and inflexible utility connections. Get appropriate professional help. Do not work with gas or electrical lines yourself.
  • Bolt down and secure to the wall studs your water heater, refrigerator, furnace, and gas appliances. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic gas shut-off valve installed that is triggered by strong vibrations.
  • Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves. Fasten shelves, mirrors, and large picture frames to walls. Brace high and top-heavy objects.
  • Store bottled foods, glass, china, and other breakables on low shelves or in cabinets that fasten shut.
  • Anchor overhead lighting fixtures.
  • Be sure the residence is firmly anchored to its foundation.
  • Install flexible pipe fittings to avoid gas or water leaks. Flexible fittings are more resistant to breakage.
  • Locate safe spots in each room under a sturdy table or against an inside wall. Reinforce this information by moving to these places during each drill.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover, and hold on!


During an Earthquake

Minimize your movements during an earthquake to a few steps to a nearby safe place. Stay indoors until the shaking has stopped and you are sure exiting is safe.

If you are Then:
Indoors Take cover under a sturdy desk, table, or bench or against an inside wall, and hold on. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.

Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.


Stay in bed - if you are there when the earthquake strikes - hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.


Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.


Stay inside until shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Most injuries during earthquakes occur when people are hit by falling objects when entering into or exiting from buildings.


Be aware that the electricity may go out or the sprinkler systems or fire alarms may turn on.


DO NOT use the elevators.
Outdoors Stay there.

Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
In a moving vehicle Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.

Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped, watching for road and bridge damage.
Trapped under debris Do not light a match.· Do not move about or kick up dust.

Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing.


Tap on a pipe or wall so rescuers can locate you. Use a whistle if one is available. Shout only as a last resort - shouting can cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of dust.

After an Earthquake

  • Be prepared for aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures.
  • Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
  • Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations.
  • Be aware of possible tsunamis if you live in coastal areas. These are also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called “tidal waves”). When local authorities issue a tsunami warning, assume that a series of dangerous waves is on the way. Stay away from the beach.

Image of a house that was damaged by an earthquake

Knowledge Check

Check your knowledge about what to do during an earthquake. For each question, choose answer A or B and circle the correct response. When you have finished, check your responses using the answer key.

What action should you take during an earthquake? The answer varies by where you are when an earthquake strikes. For each situation, pick the best course of action from the choices given.

  1. At home:
    1. Stay inside
    2. Go out to the street
  2. In bed:
    1. Stand by a window to see what is happening
    2. Stay in bed and protect your head with a pillow
  3. In any building:
    1. Stand in a doorway
    2. Crouch in an inside corner away from the exterior wall
  4. On the upper floor of an apartment building:
    1. Take the elevator to the ground floor as quickly as possible
    2. Stay in an interior room under a desk or table
  5. Outdoors:
    1. Run into the nearest building
    2. Stay outside away from buildings
  6. Driving a car:
    1. Stop the car in an open area
    2. Stop the car under an overpass

For More Information

If you require more information about any of these topics, the following are resources that may be helpful.

FEMA Publications
Avoiding Earthquake Damage: A Checklist for Homeowners. Safety tips for before, during, and after an earthquake

Preparedness in High-Rise Buildings. FEMA-76. Earthquake safety tips for high-rise dwellers

Learning to Live in Earthquake Country: Preparedness in Apartments and Mobile Homes. L-143. Safety tips on earthquake preparation for residents of apartments and mobile homes

Family Earthquake Safety Home Hazard Hunt and Drill. FEMA-113. How to identify home hazards; how to conduct earthquake drills

Earthquake Preparedness: What Every Childcare Provider Should Know. FEMA 240. Publication for teachers and for presentation to children. Available online at www.fema.gov/kids/tch_eq.htm