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.