Hide this

How to Survive an Earthquake -- Tips From a Pro

February 25, 2010 | 57,664 views
Share This Article Share

earthquakeDoug Copp is the rescue chief and disaster manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI). Here is his advice on how to survive an earthquake.

Copp's advice is as follows:

  1. Almost everyone who simply 'ducks and covers' when buildings collapse may be crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.

  2. Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake.

    That position helps you survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa or other large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

  3. Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. If a wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks, and will cause injuries but fewer squashed bodies than concrete slabs. Concrete slab buildings are the most dangerous during an earthquake.

  4. 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.

  5. If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa or large chair.

  6. Almost everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. 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.

  7. Never go to the stairs. The stairs swing separately from the main part of the building, so the stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. 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.

  8. 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 the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

  9. People inside of their vehicles can be crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles. Get out and lie in the fetal position next to your vehicles.

  10. Paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.

Effortless Healing – One Step at a Time – NOW AVAILABLE!

My newest book, Effortless Healing is now available! I've organized this book into a guide that will help you avoid the many pitfalls of the conventional approach to health. Rather than relying on expensive and potentially dangerous drugs, I will help you effortlessly make small shifts in what you eat and how you live to achieve your health goals. I promise, Effortless Healing isn't a book that will overwhelm you. On top of that, ordering the book today entitles you to 3 exclusive bonuses:


A sneak peek of my new book! You won’t need to wait for the book to arrive to get started. Begin reading my new book right away with your free sneak preview!


My most popular video interviews, all in one place. I’ve compiled 18 of my BEST expert interviews for you to watch and listen to at your leisure, and in the comfort of your own home or office.


Receive 15% off your next Mercola.com order. Depending on your order, your savings from this one bonus alone could more than cover the cost of your book!

All My Profits from This Book Will Be Donated

That's right. When you order a copy of my new book Effortless Healing, you'll be making a much-deserved donation to the key organizations that work quietly and efficiently behind the scenes to make the world a healthier place for you, your family, and your community.

Among them, you'll be benefiting and supporting the actions of:

  • National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) – A non-profit organization that seeks to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and defending your right of informed choice.
  • Organic Consumers Association (OCA) – A grassroots public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability, and addressing food safety, GMOs, the industrial agricultural complex, children's health, and more. The ONLY U.S. organization focused exclusively on the interests that you and I share!
  • Consumers for Dental Choice – Children, the unborn, and employees in the dental field are particularly vulnerable to mercury. But so is everyone with a mouthful of amalgam fillings (which are 50% mercury) at risk. Consumers for Dental Choice is working to phase out amalgam use and to promote access to mercury-free alternatives.
  • Fluoride Action Network (FAN) – An international coalition aimed at ending water fluoridation and alerting you to fluoride's environmental and health risks. FAN keeps you informed about fluoride toxicity, and monitors government actions that may expose you to fluoride.

Are you ready to get started? The timing has never been better. Order your copy of Effortless Healing today, collect your free gifts, and let your journey begin!


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Normally, I do not comment on entertainment articles such as this one. I simply post them as general self-help, or for your enjoyment.

In this case, however, I realize that may have been a mistake, as Doug Copp's advice has been disputed by the American Red Cross and other organizations.

These organizations have questioned the methodology of his tests, and pointed out that his advice is based on observations made in Turkey, where engineering and construction standards may lead to more building collapse than in the U.S. 

The Red Cross continues to recommend the 'Drop, Cover, and Hold On' system as the best method for earthquake survival.

In addition, Snopes.com, for example, points out that some question Copp’s level of expertise, and although they don’t dispute all of the points above as being bad or wrong advice, they do caution readers to keep in mind that the building codes of the US may render some of it more or less useless.

It may be worthwhile, if you live in the US, to review the advice from other local sources such as the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

While you’re at it, you may want to print out an earthquake preparedness list, since knowing what you can do BEFORE to prepare, and what to do AFTER the quake may be just as vital as knowing what to do during. Here’s one from the American Red Cross, and a more in-depth emergency preparedness ebook from the Los Angeles Fire Department.

[+] Sources and References

Thank you! Your purchases help us support these charities and organizations.

Food Democracy Now
Mercury Free Dentistry
Fluoride Action Network
National Vaccine Information Center
Institute for Responsible Technology
Organic Consumers Association
Center for Nutrtion Advocacy
Cornucopia Institute
Vitamin D Council
GrassrootsHealth - Vitamin D*action
Alliance for Natural Health USA
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
The Rabies Challenge Fund
Cropped Catis Mexico