Tuesday, August 19, 2008


The Triangle of Life

Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager
American Rescue Team International

Extracts from his Articles

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under their desk. 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 and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn't at the time know that the children were told to HIDE UNDER something. Simply stated, 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. This space is what I call the "triangle of life".

The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured.

Most everyone who simply "ducks and covers" WHEN BUILDINGS COLLAPSE, are crushed to death. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.
Curl up in the fetal position. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.
Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake.
–Wood is flexible.
–If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created.
–Wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight.
–Brick buildings will break into individual bricks.
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.
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.
Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed.
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.
Get near the outer walls of the buildings or outside of them if possible.
People inside of their 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. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.
I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.
Researched by: Aaron L. Bais, PSEMS

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