How to survive a building collapse and rescue people trapped

Nwafo avatar
Editor May 2, 2022
Updated 2022/05/02 at 3:10 PM

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Here is what to do if you are trapped in a collapsing building;

1. Cover your head

If anything heavy falls on your head, you might die. So the first thing you need to do is secure your head. You can use a metal or wooden object to cover your head as you struggle through the rumble.

2. Cover your nose and mouth

Inhaling dust is fatal to your health, so cover your nose and mouth and make sure you are not breathing dust in.

3. Conserve your energy

You should not run about frantically. Do not shout and scream. Remain calm and conserve your energy. Think of the nearest exit first before you start moving. Do not attempt to move things in your way, rather jump or crawl through them.

4. Avoid elevators and staircases if you can

If you are on the ground floor, then you can plot your way from a window, but elevators are a big no. You can try a staircase but even that is dangerous. Stay in a safe place while you wait to be rescued.

5. Call emergency services

Alert people whether online or by calling emergency services to let them know you are trapped. Also, when you are trapped in rubble and you can sense rescuers nearby, try tapping on things or calling out to them.

How to rescue people trapped in a collapsed building

1. Analyze the building and the possible places people might be trapped in

It is important to have a view of the building, where were people located? How long has the building been in existence? What caused the collapse? This will enable you to begin your rescue operation.

2. Engage in surface rescue

Some people are lightly trapped. Search for those people. They are just within the surface and, rescuing them will not be so difficult.

3. Search for survivable void space

Survivable void spaces are parts of the collapsed building that people might be able to survive for a long while in. Search for spaces like that. You can use canines to sniff around for people who might still be trapped underneath.

4. Selective debris removal

After that, use equipment like cranes to take the structure apart. Dissect the building carefully piece by piece. Before lifting any slab, always check underneath if anyone is trapped inside. Rescue workers should use cameras.

5. General debris removal

After that, if they can find any more people, dead or alive, then they can remove all the dirt and debris.

It is also important to have emergency medical services and firefighters on standby.

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