This has been going around on the internet. I urge you to google  “EXTRACT FROM DOUG COPP’S ARTICLE ON ‘THE TRIANGLE OF LIFE” to see if you agree with what is going around below:


Where to Go During an Earthquake

Forget hiding under a table or standing in a doorway.  It could save your life someday.


Doug Copp is the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI ), the world’s most experienced rescue team. He has crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and is a member of many rescue teams from many countries. He was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years, and he worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.

The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.


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.

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 “next to” void  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, providing a greater probability that the person  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.

Most everyone who gets under objects, like desks, a doorway or cars are crushed to death when the building collapses:

  • In  a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake every child was under its desk and 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.
  • STAY AWAY FROM UNDER DOORJAMBS 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!
  • People inside of 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.  All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.


Cats, dogs and babies naturally curl up in the fetal position, a natural safety/survival instinct.  You, too, can survive in a smaller void.

If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then:

  •  Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large chair,  next to a bed, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it and curl up in the fetal position. (Notice the key words: Next to and curl up.)
  • 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.
  •  Paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper, I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper.


While wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake, homes with stairs are not.

Wooden Buildings: 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.

Stairs: 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.


Spread the word and save someone’s life…

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