Every day, the news is filled with stories of disaster and bad things that happen to ordinary people. It’s no secret that the world can be a harsh place and that humans can do terrible things. Sometimes, even nature can take revenge and you will find yourself in critical situations that could potentially harm you and your loved ones.
Because we’re not trained to handle emergencies, it’s difficult to anticipate how you’ll react. The normal human reaction is to panic, especially if you have no idea what you should do. To help you keep cool when the unthinkable happens, here’s a quick guide for surviving a few critical situations that you may experience and how to survive them.
1). How to Survive a Car Crash
The most dangerous thing about being involved in a car crash is that the injuries you might incur during the accidents might prevent you from doing anything.
Thus, the best way to survive a car crash is to take the necessary steps to prevent it. Here are a few things that you can do to prevent fatal car accidents from happening:
- Make it a habit to wear your seat-belt no matter how far you’re going to be driving. Even if you just to plan to get an errand done in a place that’s five kilometers away from where you’re coming from, accidents can happen simply because you can’t control what other people are doing. At the very least, when faced with a car accident, you have more chances of incurring less injuries because that’s exactly what seatbelts are for.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Many car crashes are caused because people would avert their eyes from the round thus missing the tiny details that could have prevented the accident. No matter how good a driver you are, once you take your eyes off the road, you increase the chances of a car accident drastically.
- Get your car checked regularly. There have been a lot of car accidents that happened because the routine checkup was neglected. Accidents like tires bursting and engines exploding can be prevented if you take the necessary steps in making sure that your car is in tiptop shape.
- Follow general driver common sense. Do not set your lights on high beam in the middle of traffic as it can blind drivers in front of you and those driving on the other side of the road. Use your blinkers and do not turn on your hazard warning lights unless you’re in a real state of emergency (this includes not turning on your hazard warning lights when it’s raining). These facts are common knowledge that should be followed so that you don’t get involved in an accident and so that you won’t cause it.
- Be a responsible driver. Do not attempt to drink and drive. If you feel a bit sleepy, then stop and take a quick nap. A delay in your schedule is nothing compared to losing your life or causing an accident.
Despite being faithful to the guidelines of being a good and responsible driver, you might still get caught in an accident that could be fatal depending on the situation. Here’s a few tips on how to survive a car crash once it happens:
- If you can reach your phone, immediately call 9-1-1 and let them know about what happened. Give them as much details as you can like the extent of your injuries and an estimated number of people involved.
- If you manage to see an accident that’s about to happen, press down on the brakes and try to slow down as much as possible to lessen the impact. Most cars are now equipped with an anti-lock brake system or ABS, which helps your brakes work faster.
- The one thing most experienced drivers have is a general feel of the car. You know how fast it can go and how fast it can slow down. If slowing down is not an option, it might be best to accelerate instead to avoid the maximum damage. Consider your situation and decide cautiously.
- In the wake of the crash and if you manage to regain or retain your consciousness, take in your situation. See what is damaged and decide whether or not it’s safe for you to stay in the car until help arrives. To reduce the risk of your car catching on fire, turn off the engine. If you even so much as think that the car might explode, get yourself out as soon as possible.
- One of the most common causes of death in car crash is blood loss. Pinpoint your wounds and perform first aid. Put pressure on bleeding wounds and avoid jostling broken bones.
The key to surviving a car crash is your presence of mind both before and during the accident. Help might not arrive immediately and your survival will depend on the decisions you’ll be making.
Learn more about car crashes here.
2) How to Survive a Potential Sexual Assault
Thousands of men and women are assaulted every day. Sometimes, victims end up beaten, chocked, and even drowned. Here’s how to survive this kind of critical event:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Trust your gut and instincts. If you feel that there’s a strange person lurking around, then take necessary measures to protect yourself. Find an establishment with a security guard or better yet, immediately report it to authorities.
- If it goes down to a chase, do not let yourself end up in an alley or a deserted place. Make as much noise as possible to either ward off your pursuer or have someone help you. The best situation is if you find yourself in the company of others, who will most likely come to your aid.
- If you do end up in a place with no one around to help you, quickly dial 9-1-1. Explain your situation, where you are and what your pursuer looks like. You can even leave the line open for as long as you can so they can trace you to where you are. The simple act of talking on the phone might scare off the attacker.
- Learn SING (Solar Plexus, Instep, Nose, Groin). This is your best defense for when you’re grabbed from behind. Hit them with your elbow in the abdomen, and step on their foot with as much force as possible. The moment they let go is your chance. Smash their nose in with your palm and a kick or a knee to the groin.
- If the pursuer still manages to grab you and haul you, leave identifying marks by either biting or scratching them. This will help your rescuers identify your attacker.
- If you’re in a crowd setting, be mindful of your food and beverages to prevent the risk of getting drugged and being rendered immobile as that is the worst possible situation you can find yourself in.
- Be responsible enough to handle yourself in any situation. If you’re out drinking with friends, drink moderately and make sure that you have someone you trust with you. If you’re out studying alone in a coffee shop, do not completely block out the world and be mindful of your food and beverages.
- Sometimes, especially if you are surrounded with able-bodied people, you can go ahead and make eye contact to the person you suspect to be a danger to you. Eye contact means that you’ve found them out which could discourage them from any horrible plans they might have had for you.
- Be assertive. Say “no” and if they still force it, use force and attract attention to yourself. Do not give up while there is hope.
- Unfortunately, surviving sexual assault also means you have to live with the memory for the rest of your life. No matter what happened, remember that it was not your fault.
Like car crashes, the best way to survive is to prevent it from happening in the first place. In this situation, awareness is the key. Speak up and do not be afraid of voicing out your thoughts. Learn self-defense and always carry items that you can use as weapons with you.
3) How to Survive a Home Invasion
Another common critical situation that a significant percentage of the population finds themselves in is a case of robbery or home invasion.
In many cases, the victims aren’t aware of the home invasion until the assailants are already in their home and they have no way of going out. Here’s what you can do in that situation:
- Call 911 as soon as you’re aware of the situation (assuming law enforcement is still available).
- If you can’t leave the house unharmed, go hide in your safe room. It could the room where you’re in or if you can go to a room with heavier security, do so. Be sure to lock all entry points. If you feel that the door won’t hold, place heavy furniture in front of it to serve as obstacles for your assailants should they choose to force their way in.
- Arm yourself with any self-defense weapon you have or you can find. Your home is filled with them so don’t hesitate to grab what you can. Alternative self-defense items vary from furniture to, yes, even lollipops. Just make sure your keen spirit of observation notices them in time.
- If you can stay hidden, don’t go anywhere you think the trespassers will check. Your goal is to stay hidden until the first responders come to your rescue. Do not attempt to run if you don’t think you can make it.
- Find a way out. It could be a window or a backdoor, anything that your assailants will not notice until you’re already outside.
4) How to Avoid Drowning
One of the scariest things that could happen to a person is drowning. In that situation, you have no choice but to keep afloat and breathe in as much air as possible.
Oftentimes, drowning doesn’t look like how you think it would. There’s no screaming, no flailing arms. Your body literally puts breathing as top priority, which makes you incapable of doing anything else. This is what most researches called “instinctive drowning response.
So, faced with such a hopeless situation, what can you do to survive long enough for help to arrive? Here are a few tips:
- Do not panic. Keep yourself afloat as much as possible. Lifeguards are usually trained to notice people drowning and, at some point, one of them might notice you.
- Kick your legs and propel your arms to help keep your head above water. Breathe in as much air as you can. You may attempt to scream but if your body refuses to cooperate, then supply your brain with as much air as possible to minimize its overdriving state.
- When keeping yourself above water seems impossible, and if you think your feet can reach the ocean floor, take a deep breath and let yourself sink until you can touch the ocean floor and use it as stable ground. Jump up as powerfully as you can and take a deep breath once you break through the water.
- If you don’t think you can reach the ocean floor, try to float on your back. Simply relax your muscles and the ocean will push you to the surface. Once you’re floating and calmed down a bit, try to see if you can backstroke to shallow waters.
- If you’re afraid that there are unknown animals in the water with you, remember the golden rule: do not panic. Keep as still as possible. Attacks often happen because predators mistake you as their usual prey.
5) How to Survive a Plane Crash
Other than the impact itself, the most dangerous thing about plane crashes is what happens in the following few minutes. In worst case scenarios, the airplane can catch on fire and explode before, which is why you need to think fast and move fast.
Here are a few tips of what you can do to survive a plane crash:
- During the impending crash, make sure that your seatbelt is secure. It should be tight enough to hold you to your sit and loose enough to save your bones from breaking upon impact.
- Brace yourself. Fold up your food tray and get anything loose out of the way. Protect your head, legs and feet. Put your head on your knees and make sure that your feet are flat on the ground. Cover your head with your arms. If you think you can reach the seat in front, you can brace yourself there by clutching the seat and putting your head in between your arms.
- Remain calm. Studies have found that you have about 90 seconds to get out of the plane and make sure that you get out alive. The moment you feel that the plane has settled enough, move quickly to the escape route. Do not cause a anymore confusion.
- The flight attendants are trained for plane crash scenarios, so listen carefully to their instructions. Rebutting and protesting the flight attendants will only delay the process of exit which could prove to be fatal for everyone in the aircraft.
- Be assertive. Arguments and protesting will waste time. Look out for each other’s backs as this can save you from unknown dangers that you cannot recognize on your own.
- Breathe through your shirt, especially if you can detect smoke or see fire. Smoke inhalation is fatal. If you see smoke, crawl your way to the exit to avoid too much smoke from entering your lungs.
- Do not attempt to grab your things. Leave them. Your life is more important than anything in those suitcases.
- Assess yourself and your wounds. Any bleeding injury will need pressure. If you suffered a blow to the head, stay in one place and ask someone to assist you if you need to move.
6) How to Survive a Terror Attack
Terrorist attacks have been an ever-increasing threat in the west and throughout the world for decades now, and they are not showing any signs of slowing down.
Terrorist attacks typically take the form of gunmen shooting up a crowded venue full of civilians or taking hostages before doing the same, though explosive attacks are popular option as is the hard-to-detect and harder to stop large truck mowdown, colloquially called the “truck of peace”.
Surviving a terror attack is a matter of maintaining high situational awareness for pre-attack indicators, knowing where your exits are and correctly reading the situation so that you do not get herded into an alternate killzone with all the other stampeding would-be victims.
It also pays to carry basic trauma supplies at all times in order to deal with gunshot and shrapnel wounds, two all-too-common potential causes of death.
In order to survive a terror attack do the following:
First, always stay calm. You’ll need your wits about you in order to think clearly and quickly. Determine what the source of the attack is; rapid gunshots, stampeding civilians and screams indicate a critical run-for-your-life situation.
One or more loud kabooms followed by screams is a sure indicator of a strike. Roaring engines and a large vehicle traveling down a typically crowded pedestrian thoroughfare indicates a vehicular mowdown attack.
Next, determine what you need to do immediately in order to remain safe. If bullets are flying near you, get behind the closest piece of cover that will stop them. If something blew up you need to get as far away from the event or the venue as possible as quickly as possible.
If you are dealing with a rampaging vehicle, you need to get somewhere the vehicle absolutely cannot go, like inside a hardened structure or behind some anti-vehicle bollards or barricades.
Generally speaking, your best chance of survival will stem from rapid escape, not intervention. Get you and yours out of dodge as soon as you can do so with a modicum of safety.
The longer you stay in the area the higher the chances you will be wounded or killed. Be wary of following a crowd, as many terrorists use an initial attack or event to scare herd potential victims into a tightly defined kill box for summary slaughter.
If your life is immediately threatened and you are armed, fight back with everything you have but then put your weapon away or on the ground as soon as the threat is decisively dealt with, lest you accidentally be mistaken for the terrorist and killed by other civilians or responding police.
7) How to Survive a Kidnapping
Kidnappings are harrowing and oftentimes lethal events the take place all around the world for a variety of purposes, though they are far more common in Central and South America and Southeast Asia than elsewhere. Even so, the threat of kidnapping is ever-present, no matter if you are a man or a woman.
The typical kidnapping is done for purposes of ransom, meaning a financial windfall for the kidnappers, or ideology, which results in an execution done to sow terror and thereby cowing the government and the populace.
Some kidnappings are performed by emotionally disturbed persons who have grown obsessed with someone and either kidnapped them directly or kidnap someone they care about in order to terrorize them.
No matter what reason your kidnappers have for snatching you, your chances of survival are iffy at best, and typically get worse the longer you are held.
For that reason, it is imperative you do everything you can to avoid being kidnapped and know what to do in order to escape the moment an opportunity presents itself while in captivity.
In order to survive a kidnapping, you should do the following:
- When the initial contact with the kidnappers occurs, you will have to make a quick decision- if there are multiple attackers, they are well-armed and seem organized your best bet might be to comply until a better opportunity to escape presents itself or else you could be killed on the spot.
- If you’re only dealing with one or two kidnappers and they seem disorganized or edgy, you should flee or fight back so that you do not get taken.
- If you do get taken, escape tools will be a great help if you can keep them and access them. You should always have a handcuff key, shims, a tiny blade and fiber wire on your person and deeply concealed within your clothing or using some other creative method.
Experienced kidnappers will initially frisk you or even strip you as soon as they get the opportunity in order to deprive you of your tools and weapons.
The longer you are held the more secure your cell will become and the more thorough the searches will be. You must seize the earliest available opportunity to employ your tools and escape, no matter what.
Try to make use of any available material the craft an improvised weapon. Even a short spike of sharpen plastic, wood or metal can form a deadly shank that can turn the tables on your captors. Be prepared to fight with everything you have!
A high level of familiarity with the area you are living or working in is important if it experiences a high rate of kidnappings; if you manage to escape you must be able to orient yourself quickly and move toward help or friendly territory at best speed. Try to memorize natural and man-made landmarks throughout the area.
8) How to Survive Rioting
As Western countries increasingly balkanize politically, civil unrest and rioting will become ever more violent, widespread and frequent. The days of peaceful protesting, of standing around politely in cordons with signs singing out with chants seems to be over.
Now the vox populi vents its spleen by burning, looting and beating dissenters. Political partisanship is messy and leads to many injuries and deaths as it runs its course.
Riots might be planned in advance or they might brew up quickly in response to some perceived slight or bad turn of events. It is hard to tell what will set off people that have serious anger and impulse control problems.
For this reason, you must be prepared to react to a riot at a moment’s notice. This is an event you cannot hope to combat; the only way to survive is to escape notice and then physically get well away from the riot.
If you find yourself heading into or caught up in a riot do the following:
Always blend in and be passive if you can. Active resistance will usually inflame the mob. If the mob’s motivations run along race or class it might be very difficult to escape notice depending on your physical characteristics.
If you get caught up in the mob on foot, try to blend in: chant what they are chanting, gesture as they do, match their emotional and physical tone and temperment. If you have any opportunity to don clothing that is similar, something like a face covering or a hat, do so. Be sure to dispense with any logos or icons that might indicate you are opposition to the mob.
Go along with the mob while slowly working towards its edges. Take the first available opportunity to duck down on alley, side street or other thoroughfare to get away from the body of the mob. Take care when encountering law enforcement personnel that you don’t wind up beaten or shot and a case of mistaken identity.
If you are approaching a mob in your vehicle, you must immediately divert by either turning perpendicular to the mob’s advance or turning around and retreating. Reverse out if you have to. If the mob overtakes your vehicle while you are parked or sitting in traffic you will be highly vulnerable until you get the vehicle moving.
Start to roll along at a modest pace. Rioters will move and will be unable to physically stop your vehicle. If they start to climb on your vehicle or become even more violent, you might have to mow them down in order to escape.
Remember, use of force against any member of the mob should be a method of last resort, as you are unlikely to scare away the other members of the mob in any meaningful way. This will only draw a severe reprisal.
9) How to Survive Choking
Choking is a common threat to life for people of all ages and happens countless times every single day. Choking occurs when some foreign object occludes the windpipe and prevents respiration, typically caused by a morsel of food in adults, and can possibly also occur due to a foreign object with children.
While most choking incidents are not serious, it can result in death if the airway is completely blocked or foreign matter makes its way into the lungs.
You will definitely know if you are choking and spotting it in someone else is fairly easy, although the signs might vary a little bit.
Typically coughing, gasping or a complete cessation of breathing and talking will indicate that someone is choking. Adults may grasp or point of their throat.
Children may act frantic and wave their arms in order to attract attention, or they suddenly fall silent while they are eating or talking. Someone who has been choking for a prolonged. Might look pale or bluish in their face and fingertips.
If you or someone near you starts choking, do the following:
- Administer abdominal thrusts, aka the Heimlich maneuver. Repeat until the obstruction is expelled.
- If you are choking, it is possible to administer a modified Heimlich maneuver to yourself.
After the choking incident has ended, it is imperative that the person seen medical attention to ensure no aspiration occurred, or that no internal bleeding, cracked ribs or organ damage resulted from the application of the Heimlich maneuver, both of which are possibilities especially with repeated application.
10.) How to Survive Fainting
Fainting, or syncope, has many potential causes but will always occur as a result of lack of oxygen getting to the brain. Some serious medical conditions and diseases may show fainting as a symptom. Fainting is dangerous because when a person loses consciousness while standing it can result in a fall and injury, especially dangerous if the head is struck.
A person who is about to faint may appear pale, unsteady or confused. There is time to intervene and prevent an accident in this case. You can do the same thing if you feel like you are about to faint.
If you feel like you are about to faint or notice someone who is, do the following:
Assist the person and have them sit down or lie down on their back.
If they are sitting and still feel very woozy they can try to bend over and place their head between your knees so long as someone is there to assist them. If someone lies down and is still conscious raise their feet off the ground to improve blood flow to the brain.
Loosen all restrictive items of clothing including belts, necklaces, tight collars, corsets, etc
When they start feeling better, have them stand up slowly and certainly with assistance.
If someone loses consciousness, place them in a recovery position.
Fainting episodes rarely last longer than a minute unless there is a serious underlying condition. If unconsciousness lasts longer than a minute, or if a person fell contact emergency medical help.
If someone has fainted and is not breathing call 911, start CPR and maintain CPR until help arrives.
There are many every day critical situations that you may encounter during the course of your day-to-day life. While there are many tips that you can learn beforehand, there’s never a one hundred percent success rate for each of those tips.
The only thing that will matter once you’re in that situation is keeping yourself calm enough to let the logical and practical thoughts push through.
Remember, when survival is your priority, your worst enemy is a panicking mind.