Interestingly enough, this is from an article by Mr. Copp published
is the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team
International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team. He has crawled
inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60
So apparently Mr. Copp has recently crawled into 19 collapsed
buildings. One wonders how he has found the time, given the fact I
believe he is under investigation by the Justice Department for defrauding the
I must say, it was rather interesting to research Mr. Copp on Westlaw and
LexisNexis (the two major legal databases.)
It turns out he is Canadian, and the Canadian papers have
apparently taken great delight in trashing him. As I believe he stated
in a previous post, he is not an engineer. However, I think one of the
articles did say he took (and failed) two or three engineering courses
before he switched his major to philosophy.
The article I am referring to is Mr. Copp's "top ten tips for earthquake
safety". This is #7 on the list.
7) 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. The people who get on stairs
before they fall are chopped up by the stair treads - horribly mutilated.
Let's just say the article was not published in an engineering
At collapsed buildings, in major disasters (many hundreds if not
thousands of collapsed buildings) time and simplicity are of the essence.
Having said this and considering that our very lives are at risk as we crawl
inside these piles of rubble it is necessary to be practical and highly
functional ( I have personally crawled inside of 894 collapsed
We wet a piece of paper (usually 8"X10") and stick it over the crack. The
wet paper will stick by itself.
If there is any movement whatsoever the wet paper tears.
Simple yet effective.