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‘Duck and cover’ bad advice for earthquakes?

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For decades, perhaps longer, emergency officials have drilled into us that the safest place to be during an earthquake is under something stout. Schools tell children to scramble under their desks, a maneuver known as ‘duck and cover’. Doug Copp, one of the most experienced rescue recovery experts in the world, thinks that kind of thinking is all wrong and is why so many people die when buildings fall down. Instead, he suggests a survival method he invented called the ‘triangle of life’.

Here’s how it works.

When an earthquake strikes, ceilings fall down and crush things, even supposedly stout things, like desks, to the thickness of bones. People hiding under these objects tend to be crushed also, resulting in massive loss of life. After pulling bodies out of earthquake zones most of his adult life, Copp noticed that beside these flattened heavy objects people take cover beneath are triangle-shaped voids of space, where the object did eventually stop the ceiling from reaching the ground entirely.

It is these spaces, the triangle-shaped void next to desks and furniture, where Copp suggests people take cover. Here are his earthquake survival tips.

1.The duck and cover strategy fails every time.

2.Cats, dogs, and babies instinctively curl into a fetal position. You should do the same because you can survive in a smaller void.

3.Wooden buildings are safest during an earthquake because the wood is flexible, and moves to create larger voids.

4.If an earthquake happens at night, simply roll off the bed and curl up in the void beside it.

5.Avoid doorways and staircases.

6.It’s better to be near the outer walls of a building than the interior. Also, get out of cars.

For those living in earthquake prone areas, this way of thinking goes against what many emergency agencies teach but makes a lot of sense to us. If you are interested in learning more, Google the name “Doug Copp.”

The Holistic Survival Team

Flickr / x-ray delta one