What is the "Triangle of Life" and is it legitimate?

The "Triangle of Life" is a misguided idea about the best location a person should try to occupy during an earthquake. Based on observations of an earthquake in Turkey, the idea doesn't apply to buildings constructed within the United States.

Drop, cover, and hold under a table or desk is still the best recommendation, according to the American Red Cross.

Learn more:

American Red Cross response to "Triangle of Life" claims

Southern California Earthquake Center

Earthquake Country Alliance

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Filter Total Items: 7
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Do you know what to do the moment the ground starts shaking? Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

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Congressional Briefing -- Citizen Science and Earthquakes: Reducing the Risk Through the Power of People

In the United States, 1 in 4 people live with the risk of earthquakes. The U.S. Geological Survey and its partners are designing innovative tools to better detect earthquakes and share critical information. The involvement of citizens is key, as decisions made before and immediately after an earthquake can save lives and protect property.

Date published: October 28, 2008

Earthquakes? Don’t Freak Out--ShakeOut!

What if you knew that a magnitude 7.8 earthquake would happen in less than three weeks? In a new video interview, USGS earthquake scientist Dr. Lucy Jones explains that millions of Southern Californians will be preparing as if they do know, thanks to the Great Southern California ShakeOut.

Date published: January 3, 2008

Earthquakes claim 709 lives in 2007

At least 709 deaths resulted from earthquake activity worldwide in 2007, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and confirmed by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 2004 was the deadliest year for earthquakes since the Renaissance Age, making it the second most fatal in recorded history, with more than 275,950 deaths reported from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26. 

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House damage in central Oklahoma from a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in 2011
February 23, 2017

House damage in central Oklahoma from the magnitude 5.6 earthquake on Nov. 6, 2011. Research conducted by USGS geophysicist Elizabeth Cochran and her university-based colleagues suggests that this earthquake was induced by injection into deep disposal wells in the Wilzetta North field. Credit: Brian Sherrod, USGS

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October 11, 2016

ShakeOut GIF showing step five "minimize financial hardship" of the seven steps to earthquake safety.

ShakeOut Don't Freak Out
October 11, 2016

ShakeOut Don't Freak Out

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October 11, 2016

ShakeOut GIF showing what to do in an earthquake if you are near a sturdy desk or table.

ShakeOut GIF
October 11, 2016

ShakeOut GIF showing step five "minimize financial hardship" of the seven steps to earthquake safety.

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October 18, 2012

Students participate in the Great Southeast ShakeOut earthquake drill at Langston Hughes Middle School in Reston, Virginia. They are conducting the "drop, cover and hold on" safety procedure.

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Partially collapsed residential building in Mianyang.

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Photographer Ying Ying standing between collapsed buildings in Mianyang.

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Collapsed garage built on fill.

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October 17, 1989

Entrance and garage level of a Beach Street apartment complex in danger of collapse, Marina District.

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This masonry office building in the downtown area of Concepcion, Chile collapsed as a result of the M 8.8 earthquake on Feb. 27, 2010. The construction of this building predates the establishment of strict building codes in Chile, put in place following the devastating earthquake of 1960.