Santa Clarita officials say “Duck, Cover and Hold On” still the best option for keeping safe.
City officials have told KHTS AM-1220 that they are trying to warn residents about an email that has resurfaced about a supposedly new earthquake safety technique called the “triangle of life.” The theory evolves from self proclaimed expert Doug Copp, who claims that a person’s best chance of survival during an earthquake relies on them lying in the fetal position near a desk or some other piece of furniture. Copp claims that by doing this, if the building collapses, the debris will crush the objects surrounding the victim, thus creating a void next to them in which to stay safe. He claims that taking a position under a desk, as advocated in the widely used “Duck, Cover and Hold On” technique, is sure to crush any human being in the case of a building collapse.
Agencies like the Earthquake Country Alliance have refuted this theory, saying that a person is most likely to be injured during an earthquake when objects like lamps, glass or books are flying through the air. With the Unites States’ strict building codes, a collapse of a structure is not as likely.
Also troubling with the Copp’s theory is Copp himself. The Albuquerque Journal did a series of articles in 2004 calling his credibility into question, accusing him of over-exaggerating his search and rescue exploits and making false claims about his involvement in the 9/11 rescue effort.
To this day, the City of Santa Clarita and the Red Cross advocate “Duck Cover and Hold On” as the best way to stay safe during a tremor. This involves dropping to the ground, finding a desk or object to crawl underneath and holding on to it while covering the head. The City is also asking that residents refrain from forwarding any email chains containing the “triangle of life” theory.
You can find more information on this and other emergency safety tips at Santa-Clarita.com.