The advice for not going outside in cities makes sense, especially those with high-rise buildings like those in Tokyo or LA - just think of the danger of falling glass if those windows go..
I reckon it would be hard to follow the Triangle of Life theory, wouldn't instinct (or fear) would make you get under that bed or table rather than lie next to it?
Here in Crete most people usually run outside, wherever they are. Schools do earthquake drills, with the children sheltering under their desks.
The biggest quake I, personally, felt here was in January 2006, a 6.8 magnitude or so: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4592418.stm
We went outside and were holding onto each other to stay upright as the ground was moving so much from side to side. Now that was scary. Since then I have only felt a small rumbles!
The Natural History Museum in Heraklion has an earthquake simulator - head over there if you wish to experience one.