You may receive an email that contains this message:
DOUG COPP'S ARTICLE ON THE "TRIANGLE OF LIFE"
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...
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.
STOP! These recommendations are inaccurate for application in the United States and inconsistent with information developed through earthquake research. .
Mr. Copp's assertion that everyone is always crushed if they get under something is incorrect.
Mr. Copp based his statements on observations of damage to buildings after an earthquake in Turkey. It is like "apples and
"to compare building construction standards, techniques, engineering principles, and construction materials between Turkey and the United States.
Identifying potential "void areas" and planning on using them for earthquake protection as suggested by the "Triangle of Life" may be the best thing to teach in countries where the risk of building collapse, even in moderate earthquakes, is great.
The "Triangle of Life" email contains advice that is not consistent with information developed through earthquake research.
DO NOT SIMPLY FOLLOW THIS!
READ ON TO LEARN WHY!
Drop, Cover, and Hold On
"Drop, Cover, and Hold On" is CORRECT, accurate, and APPROPRIATE for use in the United States for Earthquake safety.
Mr. Doug Copp is the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of American Rescue Team International (a private company not affiliated with the U.S. Government or other agency.)
He says that going underneath objects during an earthquake [as in children being told to get under their desks at school] is very
dangerous, and fatal should the building collapse in a strong earthquake.
Mr. Copp's assertions in his message that everyone is always crushed if they get under something is incorrect.
He also states that "everyone who gets under a doorway when a building collapses is killed." He further states that "if you are in bed when an earthquake happens, to roll out of bed next to it," and he also says that "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."
What the claims made by Mr. Copp of ARTI, Inc., does not seem to distinguish is that the
recommendation to "drop, cover, and hold on!" is a U.S.-based recommendation based on U.S. Building Codes and construction standards.
Research has confirmed that "Drop, Cover, and Hold On!" has saved lives in the United States. Engineering researchers have demonstrated that very few buildings collapse or "pancake" in the U.S. as they might do in other countries.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as data from University studies performed after the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earthquakes in California, the following data are indicated:
Loma Prieta: 63 deaths, approximately 3,700 people were injured. Most injuries happened as a result of the collapse of the Cypress Street section of I-880 in Oakland.
Northridge: 57 deaths, 1,500 serious injuries. Most injuries were from falls caused by people trying to get out of their homes, or serious cuts and broken bones when people ran, barefooted, over broken glass (the earthquake happened in the early morning on a federal holiday when many people were still in bed.)
There were millions of people in each of these earthquake-affected areas, and of those millions, many of them reported to have "dropped, covered, and held on" during the shaking of the earthquake.
Therefore, we contend that "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" indeed SAVED lives, not killed people. It is the simplest, reliable, and easiest method to teach people, including children.
The American Red Cross has not recommended to use a doorway for earthquake protection for more than a decade. The problem is that many doorways are not built into the structural integrity
of a building, and may not offer protection. Also, simply put, doorways are not suitable for more than one person at a time.
The Red Cross, states that if you are in bed when an earthquake happens, to remain there. Rolling out of bed may lead to being injured by debris on the floor next to the bed. If you have done a good job of earthquake mitigation (that is, removing pictures or mirrors that could fall on a bed; anchoring tall bedroom furniture to wall studs, and the like), then you are safer to stay in bed rather than roll out of it during the shaking of an earthquake.
Also, the Red Cross strongly advises not try to move (that is, escape) during the shaking of an earthquake. The more and the longer distance that someone tries to move, the more likely they are to become injured by falling or flying debris, or by tripping, falling, or getting cut by damaged floors, walls, and items in the path of escape.
Identifying potential "void areas" and planning on using them for earthquake protection is more difficult to teach, and hard to remember for people who are not educated in earthquake engineering principles. The Red Cross is not saying that identifying potential voids is wrong or inappropriate.
What we are saying is that "Drop, Cover, and Hold On!" is NOT wrong -- in the United States.
Rocky Lopes, PhD
Manager, Community Disaster Education
American Red Cross National Headquarters