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Do or Die

The Walls are Coming Down

How would you survive when the building you’re in collapses?


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Do or Die: The Walls are Coming Down


How would you survive when the building you’re in collapses?


Garry De La Pomerai
Garry De La Pomerai

interestingly, the assumption here is that you know its an 8. You don't. 1. You must treat all quakes in the same way.  2. you need to have practiced a drill before, many times before. and not have to make unplanned decisions at the event. 3. you need to know where you are within the building, all of the exit choices, all of the potential refuge points. 4. Doorways are no longer deemed a safe refuge as a first point of call!  5. it is very difficult to run, walk or even crawl during an earthquake. once its has started, you are pretty well isolated. 6. if you are within a building that is about to collapse, and you try to evacuate, its as likely to come down on to you as you leave it as it is if you stay put. and especially if facades and glass are peeling off from your own building and from those close by. You must have planned a very efficient escape route into a very safe clear at distance environment outside. Unlikely during the event.  SO,,,,, what do you do? A. Preparedness is the first priority. B. If adopting the recommended drop cover hold action, and you know you are in a seismic zone, ensure that the shelter that you are taking cover under is designed to suit. don't worry about the size of building, we have found survivors in much larger buildings than 15,000tons, who have dropped covered and held. floors often pancake down, laying predominantly flat across table and lower  pillar  structures. C. investigate your building before. find out if it is built to seismic standards....... BUT standards primarily only go to a 7.   an 8 is ten times increased in energy so the likely hood is that there will be damage anyway.  D. once the shaking has stopped, and you are able, and building hasn't collapsed yet,then evacuate immediately. The building may still come down with the next aftershock. Do not re enter  the building until it has been structurally checked. It still may collapse at the next after shock and there will be potentially aftershocks up to a 5 +/-. certainly enough to bring down a weakened building.  E. Majority of people are self rescued. IF and I Say IF you are considering helping others, please work as a team, who has practiced the very basics and trained before. Communicate. you can cause more damage to a person  by adhoc lifting of items from across trapped limbs, than you do good.  You should have within your office trained first aiders, who within seismic zones should also be trained for triage  for trauma accidents and to sustain life by basic applications to stem bleeding etc. That means being able to identify the type and scale of injuries..... not carrying out medical procedures, leave that to the emergency services. F.  there should  also be on hand basic rescue and survival equipment, torches, whistles, water pouches at each desk. You don't know how long you will be trapped and it may be at night that the event strikes. rescue teams maybe heard calling, your voice might not carry, use the whistle., G. if you have evacuated eventually, you must do a roil call. find out who is still in there.  ALSO in preparation try to prepare a layout of the building, a plan, map , showing where people sit etc Also where there are the services cut off points, for gas and water and electric. these need to be addressed immediately after a major event.  This info is to handed to the attending emergency services/ rescue teams who can then 'casualty track' and minimise wasted time, avoid looking in wrong places or for people not even within the building, and for them to avoid breaking through walls into gas lines etc.. There is more..... but this is a starter.   Answer to question: PREPAREDNESS and Practiced drills, make the decision of action or review options BEFORE an event.