While nobody wants to live their lives in fear, it’s undeniable that there is no telling when you will find yourself in a life-threatening situation. It’s easy to think “that would never happen to me,” but the countless people who find themselves in grave danger every day never thought that it would happen to them, either.
Nobody can know when exactly they’re going to get mugged, choke on food, or get stranded somewhere. When you end up in that kind of situation, your casual attitude towards your own survival won’t do you any good.
Luckily, there are things that you can do to keep yourself alive during emergencies, both as they are happening and proactively. Here are 23 tips to keep you safe!
1. Never go hiking or camping without leaving a note about your whereabouts. Just in case you get stranded or lost, you’re going to want to leave specific details about where you will be so that you could be found.
stephen mccowage / Flickr
2. Chew gum if you’re running low on food to prevent yourself from eating too much of your supply, as this can help reduce your appetite. Sugar free gum in particular is best for this purpose, plus it’s healthier, as well.
Lusheeta / Wikimedia Commons
3. Always keep an eye out for the exits when you enter a crowded building. In the case of an emergency, you’re going to need to know how to get out quickly, safely, and without causing too much chaos for everyone.
Quadell / Wikimedia Commons
4. Don’t walk while looking at your phone! Besides the fact that it’s a distraction from your surroundings, you can find yourself bumping into something, which can be embarrassing at best and at worst, as in the case of walking into traffic, deadly.
Ed Yourdon / Wikimedia Commons
5. You can store water in condoms if you can’t use anything else, as disgusting as it may seem. Don’t knock it, though, because when you’re thirsty and all you care about is survival, appearances are the last thing that you’ll worry about.
Jan Jablunka / Flickr
6. While in a burning building, stay as low to the ground as possible, as this will allow you access to more breathable air and help you avoid inhaling smoke, which could kill you. This also makes it easier to escape!
Sylvain Pedneault / Flickr
7. You can hold minor wounds together with super glue temporarily if you can’t stitch them up just yet. Super glue is a good thing to keep handy wherever you go anyway, so don’t neglect to pack them on your hiking trip!
Omegatron / Wikimedia Commons
8. Gunpowder can be used to sterilize wounds before you get medical attention from a professional. Even if you don’t own or use any guns themselves, gunpowder can be a good thing to keep around your home.
T Last Stand
9. You can treat infections and burns, as well as kill bacteria, using vinegar. Most people probably keep vinegar around their kitchens anyway, so even if you don’t get hurt, you can still cook a delicious meal with it!
10. If you desperately need help, call out the name of a specific person. You are more likely to get their attention that way. If their name is Michael, for example, they’re more likely to respond to “Michael!” than “help!”
Steve Rhode / Flickr
11. Keep in mind the rule of three: you can survive for three weeks without food, three days without water, three hours without shelter from intense weather conditions, and three minutes without oxygen.
12. If you find yourself getting sleepy while driving, pull over and take a nap. Driving while tired is a huge risk to others and yourself. In a lot of ways, it’s even worse than driving drunk, because you only get more tired the longer you drive.
13. If you have been stabbed, don’t pull the weapon out of your body. Doing this will only increase the speed at which you lose blood. Prevent further blood loss by covering up the wound as best as you can, then get medical attention immediately!
14. You can put out cooking fires effectively with baking soda. These kinds of incidents can happen unexpectedly, and many recipes require baking soda anyway, so always have some around your kitchen!
BotMultichillT / Wikimedia Commons
15. You don’t need cellular service, or even a SIM card, to call 9-1-1 on a mobile phone. This is extremely important to know, because in most true emergencies, calling 9-1-1 is the absolute first thing that you should do.
Dome Poon / Flickr
16. You can start fires or signal for help with a compact mirror by reflecting the sun off the surface. Whether it’s a fancy and expensive one or a boring cheap one, the effect will work just as well either way.
17. If you get lost while hiking, try to find a stream (which will lead you to a larger body of water) or a fence (which will probably lead to a road). Any sort of indication that you can get of how to get back to civilization is important.
18. It’s absolutely vital to prevent fluid from rushing up to a person’s brain if they’ve suffered a concussion, so hold their head up until an ambulance or some other sort of professional medical help arrives.
billypalooza / Flickr
19. Give yourself more time to run away from an attacker by shining a flashlight in his eyes. It’s never a bad idea to keep a flashlight around anyway just in case you need some illumination, even if you never use it as a weapon.
Lindsey Voltoline / Flickr
20. Even if you don’t have any water, don’t eat snow if you’re trapped in a freezing environment. This can cause you to lose too much heat and develop hypothermia, which is the absolute worst thing that can happen in such a situation.
Andrew Mager / Flickr
21. If you get attacked by a brown bear, play dead until it goes away. If it’s black, though, you have to try to fight back! Obviously, this is not an ideal scenario, but it’s the only choice you have, so just try your best!
John Solaro / Flickr
22. If you are in an airplane that makes a landing in the water, you can make it faster and easier for yourself to get out of the plane by not inflating your life vest until you get out. Don’t act prematurely!
Peter van der Sluijs / Wikimedia Commons
23. It’s possible to perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself if you follow these instructions! Watch carefully, because choking incidents happen all the time, and if you don’t know exactly what to do, you may lose your life!
These tips will definitely help you if you’re in a situation that puts your chances of survival at risk. It’s absolutely vital to be equipped with this knowledge, so don’t keep it to yourself!
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