Very few of us ever expect to be in any real danger and very few of us ever will be but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared because, should that rare moment occur, it is good to know what to do in a situation where your life is in peril. Having said that, people think they have gleaned enough information and tips from survival shows and film and television but a lot of this ‘knowledge’ can be misleading, so here we have a few facts that, maybe one day, could save your life.
1. Don’t Use Your Phone Whilst Walking
This may sound like an obvious one but there is some serious science behind this. Tasks that need a lot of cognitive effort take up most of our focus and both walking and using your phone do this and so one tends to take precedence, usually the phone as you read or watch whatever is on the screen. This is going to be a real annoyance to Pokemon GO players but you really should put the phone away when walking about as you will suffer from a phenomenon known as ‘inattention blindness’ which can lead to nasty accidents, especially when crossing or walking near roads.
2. Eliminate Your Cars Blind Spots
The assumed wisdom is that all cars have a blind spot somewhere but this simply isn’t the case. Most people just don’t adjust their mirrors properly at the start of a journey but the rearview should definitely be able to accurately see the one directly behind you and is not just there to make sure your hair is still in place. Some cars do have blind spots, so don’t spend hours trying to get all round vision if you can’t but it’s definitely worth the few minutes to get the best view you can.
3. Stay Warm by Staying Dry
Time for some basic science kids, heat transfers quicker through water than it does gas as such, there’s a connection between being wet and getting cold. In cold environments, staying dry is vital and investing in clothes made of wool over cotton will help absorb more moisture so that less moisture lingers on the skin.
4. Don’t Eat Snow For Hydration Unless Desperate!
A tip many have picked up from survival TV shows and the like is that, should you run out of water, you can eat snow to stay hydrated but this is probably not the best idea as the body uses up an awful lot of energy converting one form of matter to another. As such, eating snow would provide relatively little hydration for the trade-off of losing a large amount of body heat. So, unless in dire need of hydration, probably best to not eat the snow and try and stay warm.
5. If Your Plane Lands On Water, Don’t Inflate Your Life Jacket In The Cabin
Should the, extremely unlikely, event of your plane having to make an emergency landing on water occur, the urge to inflate your life jacket inside the cabin may kick in but try and resist until you are outside of the cabin as an inflated life jacket can restrict movement and hinder you getting out of the cabin quickly. Put it on but keep it deflated until outside of the aircraft. Swim to an exit and then inflate for aided buoyancy.
6. You Can Perform The Heimlich Maneuver On Yourself
Since its introduction in 19961, the Heimlich maneuver has saved an estimated 50,000 from choking in the United States alone. An extremely effective way of dislodging something from the throat, most don’t realize it can be performed on themselves.
1. Form a fist with your stronger hand and position it below your rib cage and just above the navel. Place your other palm over the fist to push it upward more firmly.
2. Drive your fist in and up in the diaphragm area (the top of your stomach) forcefully and repeat several times until the object that’s stuck in your throat gets dislodged.
7. Keep Max-Strength Antihistamines On You
Most people consider themselves not allergic to anything but there are so many things out there that you may have just never encountered before and a wise thing to do would be keeping maximum strength antihistamines on you at all times, like in a wallet or handbag, at all times. It may sound over-cautious but you jest never know.
8. If In Doubt, Remember The ‘Rule of 3’
It’s not exact and each individual has different limits depending on health, environment, conditioning etc. but, in general, the average human can go three minutes without air, three hours without shelter in extreme and adverse weather conditions, three days without water, and three weeks without food although we do recommend you don’t get yourself into a situation to find out if this is the case for you.
9. If Cooking Oil Catches Fire, Don’t Use Water To Put It Out
If cooking with oil and it catches fire, do not throw water on it in an attempt to put it out. Water will sink to the bottom of the pan and evaporate immediately creating an effect that will see the flames shoot even higher. If you are ever caught in this situation, turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid, or failing that, damp dishcloth immediately starving the oil of heat and oxygen.
10. Don’t Remove Sharp Objects If You Get Stabbed Or Impaled
We’ve seen it a thousand times in films where our heroic protagonist receives a knife wound, pulls out the blade and then bravely fights on but this is not what you should do if a sharp object enters the body. Obviously, try and avoid it pushing further into your body and don’t move so much so that it ay damage other organs and parts of the body but do not remove it as this can cause greater blood loss. Try and cover the wound and stop any further bleeding and seek the help of a medical professional immediately.
11. Most Airplane crashes Happen 3 Mins After Takeoff and 8 Mins Before Landing
80% of air crashes happen 3 minutes after takeoff or 8 minutes before landing. Although, there’s little you can do about this, it is also within the periods where the safety announcements are happening or that you are instructed to sit down and buckle up, so rather than drifting off or having your headphones, pay attention to the announcements and be alert and aware of the emergency exits.
12. Most House Fire Deaths Come From Smoke Inhalation and Not Burns
If ever caught in a house fire, drop to the floor and keep as low as possible whilst moving towards the exits in order to avoid breathing in too much smoke.
13. If Hurt In Public, Choose One Person To Direct Your Pleas To
There is a strange psychological phenomenon that happens when an accident occurs in a public place with many people around as people tend to stand-by and watch rather than help out as they don’t want to become involved when they think someone else might help out and so everyone holds back. This is called the ‘bystander effect’ and happens so often, countries like France have legislated against it. Should you find yourself in a situation like this, don’t cry out for help to the greater masses but pick a singular target and plea to them. This increases your chances of help and people are far more likely to acknowledge being directly addressed.
14. A Bright Flashlight Is An Effective Deterrent From Attackers
Some carry mace or a weapon in case of assault or mugging but it has been found that a blast from a very bright flashlight of 300+ lumen to the eyes (especially at night) could be just as effective to give you the opportunity to get away. This decreases the risk of misuse of a weapon and also means no real harm is done should you misread a situation.
15. If Lost On A Hike, Find A River or Fence
Hiking through the wilderness can be a great way to relax and get away from it all but it can also be perilous should you become lost. Should this happen, try to find a river or fence as streams always flow downhill and will always join a tributary or larger body of water that may help you regain your bearings. If you find a fence, this usually means buildings and roads are nearby and should lead to civilization.
16. Condoms Make Great Water Storage
Condoms are incredibly elastic and can effectively act as bladders in a pinch as the stretch very far and are waterproof. So should you be out in the wilderness and need some storage, check about your persons for some rubbers. They also act as a good protective case for wallets and phones from water.
17. Mentally Prepare For Emergency Situations When Out and About
Many people refuse to leave dangerous situations or evacuate from disaster areas even when they are in clear danger because they are under the impression that it won’t happen to them or that things will work out in the end. This is called the ‘normalcy bias’ and is quite common. The best way to combat this is to consider emergency exits or escape routes when out and about, like at the cinema, which will train the mind to prepare for drastic situations and break you out of the ‘normalcy bias’ mentality.