I know that we don't live in an earthquake prone area, however, given the recent events in Japan, I think that it is a good idea to know what to do in an earthquake if you should ever find yourself in one.
Doug Copp is the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the
American Rescue Team International (ARTI ) - one of the world's most experienced rescue teams. He offers the following suggestions:
1.) Do not hide under a table or standing in a doorway. 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 - NOT under them. This space is called 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.
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 bed, 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
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.
I hope that you never have to use these tips, but if you do, I hope they help!
Insure with us today, Be sure of tomorrow!