I got an email from an online friend of mine who is a certified search and rescue (SAR) dog handler in a European country. (See bottom of post for SAR dogs in Haiti).
Bad advice: ODPEM dismisses quake tips from Doug Copp
Friday, January 29, 2010
JAMAICA'S Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) yesterday dismissed tips from American Doug Copp, who advised that people "don't simply duck and cover in an earthquake".
I think you must be aware that Douglas Copp is in Haiti – somehow he managed to go there under the Peru’s government permission and with a firemen team I think-, and he is criticizing the American army. This was published in the Brazilian news today:
Here you have a brief digest translation (sorry as I don’t speak Portuguese and something could be wrong, perhaps with the Google translation you can get the idea):
He [Copp] said he arrived at the airport in his truck with a pregnant woman and four injured people - that he [Copp] said they have rescued - , claiming for help and he says the American army who was controlling the airport didn’t help them and also that [the American army] didn’t allow the landing of a plane full of drugs, lying about the reasons.
[Copp] claims to be a survivor from the 11S [9/11], and to have experience in more than 100 disaster situations. [Copp] also says that he was one of the four people who went down the tunnels of the World Center four times, and that he then went to Canada. He received some thousand dollars for his illness.
[Copp] says he participated with several rescue teams through all the world. And in one of his missions, he helped a team to find a Brazilian student, who got lost in an African mountain. He said the family contacted him to look for the boy but he couldn’t go because he can’t fly due to a cerebral edema and the effects of sulphur and other stuff in his organism after the missions he had been deployed in.
[Copp]says his wife didn’t want him to go [to Haiti] but she understood… And all this just to find that they couldn’t help. He said this was is the fourth time the Americans do this in a disaster. In 1989 in the San Francisco earthquake, he says they took away everybody who was working in rescues because the president was coming. And they left people under the rubble. He also says anyone who deter doing a rescue should be in jail.
And of course, he adds his website at the end.
My Doug Copp series from 2004:
Index: *Doug Copp: Disaster Hero or Massive Fraud? (links to the Albuquerque Journal's four-part piece criticizing Mr. Copp's actions and rebuttals of Copp's claims from the Red Cross.)
*Doug Copp II. Includes in the comments a huge, long, repetitive, blustering missive from Mr. Copp himself. In the interests of fairness, I left it up.
* Doug Copp III, a rebuttal of Doug Copp's advice from expert sources.
*Doug Copp IV, more venom from Mr. Copp and more rebuttals from those more qualified. )
When did anything any big organization says become suspect? Now it is the standard earthquake advice from the American Red Cross, DROP, COVER, AND HOLD ON.
In a number of circles, an e-mail about "Triangle of Life" is going around. It often starts like this:
My name is Doug Copp. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.
The problems are, Copp's claims to experience are almost certainly fraudulent, and his advice is bad, if not dangerous.From Lloyd deVries' article, Sept. 11 Hero's Story Questioned published by CBS on July 12, 2004
A published report is calling into question the story of personal heroism told by a man who claims to have waded in "toxic soup" deep beneath the World Trade Center rubble to help find bodies.
Doug Copp collected almost $650,000 from the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund and believes he's owed a great deal more.
The Albuquerque Journal, in Copp's home state, New Mexico, is suggesting that Copp has already been paid way too much.
The Journal says its investigation shows that Copp, who has traveled to numerous disaster areas around the world in the past 20 years, has a history of exaggeration and self-promotion with little evidence of real rescue work.
To get the bad taste of Copp's shenanigans out of your mouth, go read about real rescue folks and their dogs doing real rescues in Haiti.
Search Dog Foundation reports SAR teams in Haiti and Search and Rescue Dogs from Around the World Deployed to Haiti.
=====Snopes.com on "Triangle of Life" and Mr. Copp
You should download and read Marla Petal's refutation of Copp's claims. You can read the whole thing by clicking:
Marla Petal, Ph.D. is Director of Bogaziçi University, Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute's Disaster Preparedness Education Program. Her doctoral research is on the causes of deaths in the 1999 Kocaeli Earthquake and implications of these findings for public education. September, 2004
Recently many well-meaning people, wanting to be safe have unwittingly fallen victim to Douglas Copp, and his "Earthquake Tips". If you took the time to read Copp's advice and you thought it might have some merit, or if you passed it on to anyone else, please read this and pass this back up or down the lines. If you haven't, and just want a few good tips for earthquake safety you can skip all the way to #7 and #8.