How to survive an Earthquake - Please read and save your life!

This Blog entry is for once not about the photographs I have taken but about the way we think to be able to safe our lives when an earthquake strikes. Sometimes we blindly follow protocols that have no basis in fact.  Most of us were taught to hide under desks or in door frames in the event an earthquake, and based on the information below as well as my own common sense, I cannot believe I have not challenged this before.

Please read the following:


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 for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in  the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters..

The first  building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985  earthquake. Every child was under its 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.


1) Most everyone  who simply 'ducks and covers' WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE are crushed to death.  People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

2)  Cats, dogs and babies often naturally 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. 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 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) Most  everyone 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 - 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 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. 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.

Spread the word and  save someone's life... The Entire world is experiencing natural calamities so  be prepared!

'We are but angels with one wing, it takes two to  fly'

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.


All of you lovely people out there, please follow this advice and spread the word to others.

Lots of love


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