Triangle of Life Debunked

    (Provided by Steven Nameroff - Monday, May 05, 2014)

A couple of years ago an article written by Doug Copp claimed that the U.S. method of duck and cover was  useless in case of an earthquake,and that the only real way to escape harm is by using what he calls the triangle of life. The triangle of life basically means that you lay next to something bigger than you, so that if the ceiling collapses, you are saved in the triangle that is created between the object and the ceiling. In the same article Copp provides tens steps to keep people out of harm’s way. He says that his methods have been proven in simulation trainings in Turkey and other countries.

Disaster preparedness experts have disputed many of Copp’s findings, especially because they are based on earthquake experiences in other countries. The United States has building codes that are quite different from those in other countries.  The recommendation to “drop, cover, and hold on” is a U.S.-based recommendation based on the U.S. Building Codes and construction standards, and there has been much research that proves that “Drop, Cover and Hold On!” has saved many peoples lives in the United States. In other countries buildings are more likely to collapse or “pancake” but in the U.S., engineering researchers have demonstrated that this is will rarely happen. Copp says that he used a earthquake simulation in Turkey, but further investigations into this statement show that the “simulation” was actually a voluntary organization's search and rescue exercise. Instead of using a real earthquake simulation to shake the building laterally, they rammed the buildings columns, causing the building to pancake.

There have been many articles published about Doug Copp, debunking his rescue-guru persona, and describing him as a self-serving opportunist.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Copp is currently under investigation by a U.S. Department of Justice fraud unit.

To read more about this visit Snopes.

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