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Tuesday, October 26, 2004



I have recieved this from two friends now asking if it is legit, since I am an expatriate structural engineer currently residing where there are no earthquakes. I told both of them that most of what this man has said is bull, but did not go to any hoax sites to check it out till after I got the second one today. I went to symantec which is usually the best source, but they donot have this listed as a hoax. I do not understand why since this is obviously a matter of importance in areas where earthquakes occur. I just really want to say thanks for listing the information so that it is somewhere easy to find. I have directed both of my friends to your site to read what you posted.

Mehmet Zaim

I am writing from Turkey. A real earthquake field. I have recently received that Doug Copp mail. I made a simple search using google. My conclusions are;
- This man is true
- This man has a real experience on earthquakes
- His recommmendations are based on these experiences
- American Red Cross is not refusing his recommendations. But finding on of his comments(drop, cover, and hold on method deadly) not suitable for US. Look what they're saying: "What we are saying is that "Drop, Cover, and Hold On!" is NOT wrong -- in the United States. The American Red Cross, being a U.S.-based organization, does not extend its recommendations to apply in other countries. What works here may not work elsewhere, so there is no dispute that the "void identification method" or the "Triangle of Life" may indeed be the best thing to teach in other countries where the risk of building collapse, even in moderate earthquakes, is great."

Isn't it logical and scientific to discuss his findings and recommendations. So I do not understand people attacking on him. There is a forest of problems there and you are counting the leaves of a single tree.

Good luck.

Mehmet Zaim
A friend from far away.

Saint Nate


You got that impression about Doug Copp from one Google search? the search engines must rank differnetly in Turkey. The first result I get is probably the one KNP was looking for:

After that, we get Copp's site and a slew of debunking pieces from the ABQ Journal, Red Cross, etc.

While I won't deny that "drop, cover, and hold on" was made by an American agency for an American audience, I will deny that everyone who does it instantly dies (as Copp claims). That's a pretty audacious statement: It implies he's familiar with absoutely every case of earthquake when this was tried. And since he says he doesn't lie or exaggerate, he must either have some skewed evaluation criteria or an intelligence network that makes Santa Claus's all-seeing eyes look myopic.

Also, Copp doesn't distinguish this is only true for foreign earthquakes, although it is worth noting most of the earthquake experience he CLAIMS to have is in foreign countries. His more grandiose stories are set in Costa Rica, Kosovo, Japan, etc; while domestically he's been limited to one earthquake in California and two terrorists attacks (Oklohoma City and New York City, and don't even try to tell me terrorist attacks are anything like earthquakes). Therefore, in what way does it make sense to say he's experienced to speak of American structural systems? If anything, he makes a compelling argument against himself.

I guess I started the same way you did by researching Copp in Google, but I looked at the situation critically and ended up with the opposite conclusion.

Dennis J. Stouffer, Ph.D.

I am a sociologist who has had an almost life-long involvement with, and interest in, disasters, prehospital medical care, and fire service operations. Copp's observations and claims are to me highly suspect, and the tennor of his statements appear to be lavishly self-promoting. I would like to see real evidence, as opposed to his claims, of his "rescue work" at all the incidents for which he claims involvement. I would also like to know how he has financed his world-wide disaster excursions. Is he independently wealthy enough to travel all over to major earthquakes, is he funded by a legitimate organization? Until his "triangle of life" blitz occurred, I had never heared of ARTI, and I would sure like to know who decided that it is the "worlds most experienced rescue team"(if it really exists and has functioning search/rescue specialists). That overarching claim seems to me to be quite preposterous based on the numerous, highly experienced, highly trained teams both in the U. S. and abroad. Perhaps he is real, and maybe he believes his own press, and I do not doubt that in some situations some of what he suggests may be valid, but overall I certainly have significant questions about his knowledge, suggestions, experience, and credibility.


Next time it rains, set up a table outside. Have your friend get under the table and you stand out in the rain. See who gets wet.

Now imagine the rain as rocks falling. Where do you want to be in an earthquake under the table or out in the rain?

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