You Can Survive
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United Nations Sends Triangle to Latin America
by Carol Camelot
January 6, 2011
In the magazine Time of Feb. 1, 2010 journalist Tim Padgett reviewed the two techniques to survive an earthquake in a story about one of the worst-ever natural disasters in the western hemisphere: the January earthquake in Haiti.
“U.N. security experts this week sent out a triangle-of-life PowerPoint presentation to staff members in Latin America who are still shaken by the deaths of 100-plus U.N. workers in the organization’s Port-au-Prince headquarters, including the head of the mission there.”
Gary Patterson, a geologist at the University of Memphis in Tennessee, told Time, “If you’re going to play the odds, drop and cover may be the best way to go, but a lot of emergency responders might say triangle of life because they’re the ones who see the fatalities in buildings that do collapse.”
This column is the fifth in a series in this newspaper since Oct. 7, 2010, on American Rescue Team International (ARTI) and its founder and rescue chief, Doug Copp. Why am I putting so much emphasis on this organization? Do you hope to survive a devastating earthquake? Worldwide earthquakes are dramatically on the rise, and California is overdue by more than 150 years for an 8.0 magnitude shaker.
Understanding the difference between Duck, Cover and Hold (aka Drop, Cover and Hold) and Triangle of Life is essential. Realizing that your survival depends on knowing who is telling you the truth is also essential – and Copp is telling the truth, having searched personally 896 collapsed buildings since 1985 for trapped victims. In this column additional information is presented.
The U.S. government originally promoted Duck, Cover and Hold to survive a nuclear blast, not an earthquake, and told citizens to get underneath a desk. With Triangle of Life (known as Survivable Void to firefighters), a person lies on the floor beside a desk, sofa or other substantial piece of furniture. As the building collapses, the walls and roof cave in, and triangles are formed as large pieces fall against furniture.
A person is safe in a void, or empty space, formed by these falling pieces. Firefighters refer to the space formed by the triangle; ARTI refers to the triangle formed which has the empty void inside.
As a training specialist for ARTI, I was giving a Triangle presentation for preschool teachers. Their school director informed that she was pregnant when the Northridge earthquake occurred. The grandfather clock in their home hit her, opening up her belly. She fell down, lying next to the bed, which is where firefighters found her. They told her she should have lain next to the bed when the earthquake started.
Triangle was the inspiration for the Life Desk created by Yanko Design, as posted on Spark Awards International Design website. “When the desk-board closed, the total desk is transformed into a triangle-the most stable form. Toughness has nothing to do with how much metal you used but form and structure,” says designer Haishan Deng. “Fresh air can come in from side and back. There is an emergency box in which user can put water, foods for precaution. A wireless positioning system of Life-Desk for rescue team to locate survivors is in development.”
Deng has made arrangements with the Bureau of Education in China to produce a limited amount of these desks to try them out in schools.
The Triangle of Life was discovered by Copp when he crawled inside of a collapsed school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake at which 7,000 died. As he crawled up and down the aisles safely, he was shocked that the children were crushed to death under their desks. The ceiling had fallen, and the weight had snapped the desk legs. The ceiling rested upon all the desktops and remained intact.
Three children survived this horror. Their English affidavits are at www.amerrescue.org with links to the original Spanish language publications. Two girls who were in the aisles survived untouched while the third child’s legs were squashed under the desk and were amputated.
From videos to television programs to emails being sent around the world, the world about Triangle of Life’s effectiveness at saving lives continues to be spread. In the coming months you, dear reader, will begin to seriously wonder about earth changes and who is telling the truth about them. The changes our planet are undergoing are not slowing down any time soon.
At least you can be sure of one thing: Triangle of Life is the safer way to survive a building collapse in a deadly earthquake.
Carol Camelot, disaster readiness consultant, was the chairperson for Neighborhood Emergency Service Teams (NEST) for the city of Cathedral City 1997-98 in collaboration with its fire department. Her company, DISASTER SURVIVAL TRAINING, offers consulting, presentations, classes and emergency backpacks for kids. (760) 534-6278 http://www.disastersurvivaltraining.com. See her article “We’re Not Ready” on homepage http://www.desertvalleystar.com. © 2011 Carol Camelot. All Rights Reserved.