provide valuable warnings that can lead to life-saving actions. For example,
the Montenegro earthquake of 1979 came in two shocks with enough time
between them for people to get outside their houses (103). Studies
from the 1980 Italian earthquakes suggest that those who immediately ran
outside were less likely to be injured or killed (82). However, while
running outside may be good advice in rural areas, it may not necessarily be
the best thing to do in densely populated urban areas. Narrow streets
provide no protection and can rapidly fill with debris falling from
collapsing side walls or roofs of buildings, whereas the central portion of
the same buildings may be left standing and provide protection. Reports from
the 1985 Chilean earthquakes suggest that a number of people were killed by
building overhangs that fell on them as they tried to escape (104,105).
The most popular preparedness action recommended in this country is "duck
and cover," which is based on anecdotal stories of people surviving under
desks or beds.