PSN-L Email List Message

Subject: Re: If you feel a quake....
From: ChrisAtUpw@.......
Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2001 22:55:57 EST

    Getting earthquake resistant buildings is obviously a very desirable long 
term objective. However, what government can afford to rebuild all it's 
inadequate towns and what strength of earthquake would you design for? A  M 
7.9 is pretty energetic, rebuilding takes a long time and could you guarantee 
that the ceiling won't collapse and that furniture won't fall over?

    A similar situation was faced in the UK during WW II, with the prospect 
of many deaths from collapsing buildings during bombing. Many houses bought / 
were given 'shelter tables' for some protection. These consisted of a 
rectangular box of heavy steel girders, about 6 ft x 4 ft x 2.5 ft high, 
topped with overlapping sheets of ~1/4" steel. The bottom, sides and one end 
were covered with heavy gauge protective wire mesh. The structure was 
delivered in pieces, bolted together in the living room and it was used as 
the family table, for meals etc. They did give fairly effective protection. 

    I wondered if this sort of device had been considered as a 'bolt hole' in 
earthquake prone areas? While you might not have time to run out of the 
building during a 'quake, even if you can stay on your feet, diving under the 
living room table should only take a few seconds. It would not be very 
expensive and could be produced in large numbers quite quickly. Sorry if this 
is a bit 'off our usual topics'. We seem to have had so many tragedies during 
the last year, so I thought that I would see what others thought of the idea.


    Chris Chapman 

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Larry Cochrane <cochrane@..............>