Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SOMEONE ELSE DIED A LONG TIME AGO.

This morning at 0926 hrs we were exhorted to go through a national drill of "drop, cover and hold" in an exercise for preparation for an earthquake.

Years of removing from our psyche any reference to self preservation , personal responsiblity, awareness of danger and many other survival skills has resulted in this latest manifestation of stupidity.

The above mantra was of precious little use to those who died in the building collapses that accompanied the largest of the 11 000 quakes and aftershocks that have hit Canterbury over the last two years.

Robotic reaction could in too many cases be the stupidist thing one could do as a response to an earthquake. Yes for a class of children it may well be the best practice but for many it is courting disaster as rapid relocation to a safer place may be a better option. As an example a person located below a concrete structural beam in a pancaking building will be squished in an instant whereas one a meter away may have a chance of survival.

Better chanels of communicating what turned out to be very real fears that the CTV and to a lesser extent the PGC buildings were not as stable after the Sept 4th quake as some of those whose work included reassessment of building stability, concluded.  Yes too many people who should have known better assumed, tragically in error as it turned out, that a little green paper  around 150 by 200mm, stuck on a front door meant that the structure was sound, stable and safe to occupy.

When a vehicle is involved in a smash the seatbelts if employed should be replaced as the stress exerted has in all liklyhood rendered them suspect.

People have to be re-educated to be aware of danger and cease relying on "someone else" to be the arbitrator and decision maker, as poor old someone else is now long dead.

7 comments:

Wes said...

Basically chum, you're an idiot.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Another polite commenter looking for a kick up the arse.

Wes said...

Why have you stopped your regular series of satirical posts on the presidential election, Adolf? They were hilarious. Now that the race has shifted further in favour of Obama, I'm sure the outraged and dopey right-winger you pretend to be could come up with some doozies.

gravedodger said...

Wes is one dopey prick.
Karma will have him in the path of a bus when the quake happens and the last thing he will do other than cause more work for the Janitor will be down cover and hold. If the front wheels miss the back ones will do the dumb prick in, flat out squishy.

Ciaron said...

I'd be very careful about advising people not to take refuge next to structural elements.




Anonymous said...

It was the robotic/instinctive response to stand in a doorway that ensured I didn't get a large floor lamp to the noggin @ 4.35 a.m. on Sep 4, 2010. Having never been in an earthquake of that size, it wasn't until later that day I realised how successful those education initiatives at primary school had been in programming me to do the sensible thing and seek cover - without any conscious thought (it was half-past bloody 4!). By February, I was more rehearsed - and yes, a bit more skeptical about the validity of the desk-as-protection argument, but I have no doubt that there is significant merit in regularly reminding people about the default course of action; because if it's the first time the magnitude of the situation can preclude a quick survey of a building's structural integrity. I do take some exception to the subtext of this post - which is that people died in the CTV building due to negligent application of personal responsibility. To suggest that those people should have known better is preposterous. Clearly, even the engineers got it wrong but that doesn't mean that people could have been expected to second-guess their analytical abilities in the context of the Sep-Feb period. A culture of increased personal responsibility would not have prevented rational people from entering that building. The lack of personal responsibility should be attributed not to those victims, but those criminals who were negligent in constructing the building.

Anonymous said...

It was the robotic/instinctive response to stand in a doorway that ensured I didn't get a large floor lamp to the noggin @ 4.35 a.m. on Sep 4, 2010. Having never been in an earthquake of that size, it wasn't until later that day I realised how successful those education initiatives at primary school had been in programming me to do the sensible thing and seek cover - without any conscious thought (it was half-past bloody 4!). By February, I was more rehearsed - and yes, a bit more skeptical about the validity of the desk-as-protection argument, but I have no doubt that there is significant merit in regularly reminding people about the default course of action; because if it's the first time the magnitude of the situation can preclude a quick survey of a building's structural integrity. I do take some exception to the subtext of this post - which is that people died in the CTV building due to negligent application of personal responsibility. To suggest that those people should have known better is preposterous. Clearly, even the engineers got it wrong but that doesn't mean that people could have been expected to second-guess their analytical abilities in the context of the Sep-Feb period. A culture of increased personal responsibility would not have prevented rational people from entering that building. The lack of personal responsibility should be attributed not to those victims, but those criminals who were negligent in constructing the building.