Friday, March 11, 2005

Triangle of Life Earthquake Safety

While lunching with the gals, one of the discussions was the triangle of life. Apparently an email has been going around about the triangle of life. After a quick google search, the first site to come up was the Snopes urban legend site.

First, I guess the argument is that in the event of an earthquake you should find a space where you will be protected by a "triangle". Well, rather than try to rephrase here is the quote..

"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 quote is attributed to Mr. Douglas Copp.

Mr. Copp apparently is not all that he seems, he is currently under investigation by the US department of justice for Fraud and the American Red Cross challanges his tips, citing amoung other things that buildings around the world vary and what may work in the US will NOT be safe in other parts of the world. Like the SNOPEs site says the ideas may not all be bad, but it is probably better to follow the Red Cross and FEMA guidelines for Earthquake Disasters.

Here are those links for my friends.

FEMA: Drop and Cover and Hold On

Red Cross Earthquake Page

HOWEVER, In order to make things even less clear, the American Red Cross has stated that the Drop Cover and Hold On may not be appropriate for other countries besides the US. So, it is with a grain of salt...

I think that I will pretty much remain where I am, drop to the ground if standing, and try to get close to an item of cover. Who Knows eh?

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