Myself and other authors in the prepping sector spend plenty of time writing about many survival situations so that you can be better prepared for them, but as its said a picture is oftentimes worth a thousand words, and if that is the case then a video must be worth somewhere near a million!
Chances are you have seen plenty of hair-raising survival scenarios play out on video, but have you stopped to really analyze what you are saying? Have you taken the time to assess them, to go through them logically, rationally and learn what you can from them?
They are oftentimes thrilling, even scary, but they don’t need to be just macabre entertainment. It is possible to refine your own plans and procedures learning from other people’s experiences, and their mistakes.
In this article I will be sharing with you 10 of the most harrowing survival situations caught on camera and uploaded to the internet so we can learn what we can from the trials and tribulations of others.
Below are links to ten real-life survival situations caught on film. Not all of these incidents end in disaster or tragedy, but some do, and all certainly had the potential to. Included in this list are several instances of violence. As always, viewer discretion is advised.
1. Driving Through Wildfire Hell
In this video clip you can see a roaring and completely out of control wildfire encroaching on a suburban area in Alberta, Canada. The people filming are making a desperate, last-minute escape from a situation that has grown completely out of control and is now threatening their very lives, not just their home and not just their possessions.
In just the first few seconds you can see the stakes; towering flames, a noonday sky black with choking smoke and ash and a desperate attempt to thread the needle through the flames and get away.
Wildfires have been increasing threatened globally for the past couple of decades now and many people, preppers included, do not give them the respect they deserve. Wildfires can travel quickly, and despite the best efforts of firefighters from all agencies they are often impossible to completely contain and increasingly difficult to keep from impacting urban and suburban areas.
Folks are usually fairly lazy when it comes to evacuating since they don’t really know what they are up against, and don’t understand how quickly a wildfire can cut off escape.
Don’t wind up like the folks featured in this video! Get out while the getting is good, and easy!
2. Escaping a Violent Riot
As a result of increasing civil unrest and an ever-widening chasm of political partisanship and cultural balkanization in the West, riots are the event that are on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days, and with good reason.
Riots are incredibly destructive, can spawn seemingly out of nowhere and can leave entire city blocks toppled in smoking ruin while teeming hordes of malcontents loot, beat and kill to their hearts’ content.
It is easy enough to avoid a riot if you live outside of a heavily populated area, but it is far from out of the question that you might find yourself embroiled in one in the blink of an eye as these mobs are increasingly coordinated and mobile.
You yourself might own a business that could eventually be threatened by looting rioters, and you might have no choice but to defend it and yourself.
It cannot be impressed upon you enough just how dangerous and unpredictable these events are. Make sure you stay far, far away from any masses of people gathering for any political or ideological purpose.
And if you ever get caught into one, here’s what you should do.
3. Huge Tornado Coming Right at You
Tornadoes are among the most powerful storms on planet Earth, and are the ones capable of producing the highest sustained winds. Even a minor tornado can cause great destruction over a wide area, but the most powerful among them are more than capable of scouring the landscape completely clean of human habitation, with only the most fortified and hardened structures capable of withstanding them.
One must keep in mind that it is not only that the wind is blowing so hard, but what it is capable of blowing! Airborne debris contributes to the majority of casualties inflicted by a tornado, and when powerful winds blow hard enough even the most trivial things become deadly projectiles.
In the most extreme cases, automobiles, buildings, and even entire train cars can be lifted and carried through the air.
In this terrifying video we see a man record the 2015 Fairdale, Illinois tornado that struck the town and indeed his home directly, tragically killing his wife.
The time to prepare for a tornado is now, since you will only have a few minutes warning if you get that much warning at all that one is on the way. Failing to take shelter in time can easily result in your death.
4. Dramatic Car Wreck and Pileup
Driving a car or truck is overwhelmingly the most dangerous thing you will do on a day-to-day basis unless you have a very, very dangerous job. What could go wrong? Thousands of pounds of plastic and steel hurtling down America’s roadways feet or inches away from other people driving their own rolling machines.
A moment’s inattention, an incorrect adjustment or unseen obstacle or event is all that it takes to result in a gnarly crash, easily capable of killing or dismembering you and your passengers.
What’s worse, there are all kinds of secondary emergencies that can result from a car accident, such as being trapped in an automobile that is on fire, as is shown in this video, or plunging off the roadway and into a body of water where the vehicle will start to surely sink.
Being prepared for dealing with such an event means you need to have your medical skills up to snuff along with a well-equipped first-aid kit and vehicle bailout device featuring a seatbelt cutter and window breaker like this one:
I myself carry a crash axe for extricating myself and others from vehicles that have their frames and doors warped and twisted on impact; you’ll only have to watch someone burn up in a mangled car once…
5. Scary Tsunami Heading for You
Tsunamis are among the very deadliest of natural disasters, and can strike anywhere along the shore and well inland from a large body of water.
Typically caused by undersea earthquakes but also capable of being caused by displacement events like asteroid impacts, landslides and nuclear detonations, a tsunami is an enormous quantity of water that moves rapidly ashore as a series of waves travelling upwards of 25mph, sweeping away everything and everyone caught in its path and leaving the remains completely flooded.
Tsunamis are an ever-present threat along the coastlines of the world, but are particularly common along the Pacific Rim in Asia, Alaska and South America. The worst part is that tsunamis can strike seemingly without warning, exhibiting very little in the way pre-event indicators.
If you get any warning at all or just suspect that a tsunami is incoming it is imperative that you reach high, stable ground as quickly as possible, else you’ll be swept away and drowned in the flood or crushed by the debris floating in it.
In the video linked above we can see in all its horrid power the tsunami that swept ashore in Japan in 2011 after a powerful offshore earthquake. It is impossible not to notice the dozens of cars and even entire buildings bobbing along in a huge clot of debris, just like they were toys in a bathtub.
6. My Baby is Choking!
Not all survival situations are spectacular and theatrical, or even disasters proper, and some of the most mundane events can have the most life-threatening implications.
Choking is one such daily occurrence, happening commonly with children who stick foreign objects in their mouths and surprisingly often in adults who talk or laugh while eating. As you doubtless already know, loss of oxygen to the brain for even a couple minutes can result in irreparable harm or even death.
You have to take choking, and the threat of choking seriously, and that means you must know what to do when an infant, a child or an adult starts to choke. It will be an awful feeling having to stand by and watch helplessly as they struggle to breathe.
Luckily for these parents in the video above, even though they did not know what to do, a police station was nearby, and they were able to summon assistance to save their baby.
7. Sudden Home Invasion
There will hardly be a more terrifying survival situation than a home invasion. Imagine it: in the middle of the night, or perhaps the middle of the day, suddenly your door is being kicked off its hinges, windows broken, and storming in comes a band of shouting, cursing band of armed thugs intent on gaining control of you and your family as quickly as possible.
Once subdued, God alone knows what they will do to you…
These situations never end happily and you must be prepared to fight back with everything you have at any time of day or night. Many people underestimate the suddenness and the viciousness of home invaders.
As a rule you are not dealing with a cat burglar who is slinking around trying to get in, get your things and get out undetected. No, we have too many examples from the past few decades that demonstrate in gory detail what the M.O. is of these scumbags.
Understand that even if you are armed with a gun the situation will be one of complete chaos; multiple attackers, approaching from multiple directions and all the while you will have your family members and other innocents in the background that you will have to worry about hitting if you shoot and miss.
8. Violent Mugging
As it turns out you can expect thugs to accost you wherever you go, and robbery is one of the world’s oldest professions for those of an evil disposition.
Muggings are other shocking and unsettling things that can happen to you, and many times the victim only knows they are under attack after the attack has begun properly.
You need not expect a warning or notification that “this is a stick-up!” followed by a demand for your valuables if you want to keep your life.
Detecting and thwarting a mugging depends predominately on staying aware and learning what pre-attack indicators look like.
Several of them are on display in this video, including the initial attacker intersecting and obstructing the path of the victim and waiting for him to pause before launching his attack. Notice that his nasty little accomplice was already opening up the flank to close in after he launched the initial assault.
There was no demand for goods, only the ruthless inquest of violence. Keep your head on a swivel, take no chances, and learn to detect and understand pre-attack indicators so you don’t wind up like this poor person.
9. Plane Crash
Though one of the rarest forms of transportation mishap and subsequent disaster, plane crashes, nonetheless, stay on the minds of many nervous flyers, and it is hard to shake the idea that you are doomed if your airborne conveyance starts to fall out of the sky.
Perhaps even harder to believe, beyond the general rarity of plane crashes and other aeronautical mishaps, is that most plane crashes are indeed survivable, statistically, as the one linked in this video illustrates in vivid first person perspective.
To compound the general terror, this was a small plane that was forced to make an emergency landing in open water off the coast of Hawaii. Not a good situation!
But you will notice that the plane stayed intact thanks to the pilots skillful handling, and all passengers knew more or less what to do, grabbing life vests and getting out of the plane in short order as water started to enter the cabin.
Thanks to a little bit of luck, quick action and following proper safety procedures what could have been an awful tragedy turned into exciting if scary viewing!
10. Charged by a Bear
Countless people enjoy the great outdoors in all kinds of ways, and you and I both know that the majority of preppers have detailed plans for taking off into the wilderness at the first sign of trouble during an SHTF event.
One thing they might not have planned for is that the wilderness getting a vote in the proceedings! There are plenty of critters great and small in the remote places of the world that can seriously ruin your day, not to mention your plans.
One of the most fascinating and impressive of these natural specimens is the North American brown bear, a huge mammal known for its intelligence, power and surprising speed.
A bear that is in a surly mood or gets surprised, especially if it has cubs tagging along, is a nearly unstoppable force and in the dense terrain of a forest you will have precious little time to react.
In this unbelievable video two outdoorsmen endure a “false” charge from a bear that is even more notable because they made plenty of noise to let the bear know they were nearby.
Typically, you can expect a bear to move a little farther down the line since they often do not want anything to do with people.
In this case, it only moved in for a closer look, and did so at flank speed. You had better have a plan to hand when charged by a bear or any other dangerous animal, and don’t think you can outrun one.
Learn what to do in case of a bear attack here, and keep in mind depends on the type of bear you encounter.
The survival situations I just shared with you that were unbelievably caught on video certainly make for exciting and even horrifying viewing, but don’t make the mistake of treating them only as thrilling entertainment: there are lessons to be learned in each of them, lessons that might make the difference for your survival if you are ever caught in a similar situation.
It is said that a wise man learns from the mistakes and trials of those who have gone before him. Make sure you do the same and study what these survivors did!
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.