According to Doug Copp, Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the best thing to do during an earthquake is what is known as “The Triangle of Life“.
According to Copp, ” 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 – NOT under 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”.
Copp’s tips for earthquake safety:
1) Do not go under objects, like desks or cars, when buildings collapse because most of them will get crushed.
2) You should curl up in the fetal position during an earthquake. This is a natural survival instinct. You should go next to an object, such as a sofa or a bed because that large object will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.
3) If an earthquake happens while you are in your bed, simply roll off the bed because a safe void will exist around your bed.
4) You should never go to the stairs during an earthquake because they 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”. Even if the building doesn’t collapse, stay away from the stairs.
5) You should get close to the outer walls of buildings, or even outside of them. “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”.
6) If an earthquake happens while you are in your vehicle, do not stay inside. Instead, get out of your car and sit or lay next to your car.
As you can see from the devastating pictures below, having the knowledge and being prepared for a disaster is extremely important. Every individual needs to have an earthquake survival kit in their home, in their car and their workplace because we truly never know when a disaster can strike.