Following recent earthquake disasters in Haiti, New Zealand and Japan- it is more important than ever to be aware of what you should do if an earthquake happens within the ring of fire. Since the catastrophic events in Japan, some very controversial (and viral) emails have been going around by a certain Doug Copp rebutting the usual advice of FEMA and the Red Cross‘ “drop and cover” technique. His suggestion is called the “triangle of life”- a theory which has been strongly rejected by many experts. In this infographic, we take a look at both these theories and compare them visually…
Whatever you think makes more sense (we would lean towards the Red Cross advice), we would ask that you consider generously donating to the Red Cross Japan in support of this wonderful country and its brave people.
Ben Hammerson says
super infographic- just donated $25.
I live 2 hours away from Christchurch, New Zealand where the quake activity occurred recently. From watching all the reports in the media and talking to family and friends who live in Christchurch, I think it’s very hard to summarize and correctly identify the best of the above two theories.
For instance, if you drop and cover under a table like the one pictured above you’ll likely be flattened. Tables with metal box section or wooden legs may appear strong enough, but ceilings and roofing material doesn’t fall in a nice uniform manner. The desks people think are sturdy, often aren’t. They might be ok if material falls directly on top, but in many cases I believe these types of tables buckle diagonally. My daughter said people were crushed and suffered broken limbs under desks at her college – they were made of sheets of particle board held together by screws. With the twisting and rolling of the quake, people were thrown across the room and it was impossible to hold the legs of the table as suggested.
On the other hand, the Triangle of Life suggests running from a building – many people were killed when they did this as they were hit by falling debris, mainly older brick buildings.
I think there are too many variables to choose one method over the other. Depends on the nature of the quake, the strength of the building, building level you are on etc.
DIYGreenGuru- thank you for your feedback. I have visited the area around Christchurch (in fact, got married in Lake Tekapo!) and think it is perhaps the most beautiful place in the world. I think you are 100% right in what you say- ultimately, common sense needs to prevail and each person and community should take the best tips from all sources according to their individual assessment, with all things considered.