Dangers lurk at every turn. Sometimes it counts down to seconds: you have to make quick decisions and react quickly to save yourself. You should know what you should do in advance.
Here are 12 tips for every emergency that might save your life one day. Even when you are not aware of the danger, your brain is giving irrational signals that warn of danger. So be sure to read our tips so that they stay in your subcortex.
1. Trust your intuition
Don’t underestimate your intuition. Often we have not yet had time to assess the situation, but the brain is already detecting signs of danger and sending signals. Anxiety or fear that appears to come out of nowhere can actually be caused by impending danger that you have not yet recognised. So if you suddenly feel these feelings in an unfamiliar area, in contact with someone or in any other case – go away. Don’t be afraid to appear strange. Better so than actually encountering something dangerous.
2. Know that any weapon will do.
If you don’t have a real gun, you can use anything for self defense. Sharp objects like pens, shards of crockery or furniture, belt buckles, anything heavy will do.
3. Be rude if necessary.
If you’re confronted by a stranger who clearly doesn’t understand the word ‘no’, don’t hesitate to be rude. Don’t even let him get close to you. When making it clear that you don’t want company or help, speak loudly, clearly. Usually, people with bad intentions expect to put a person’s guard down by being polite. But if your intuition tells you there’s something fishy going on, and always when a shady-looking guy walks up to you in a dark alley, tone him down with your confident stance. It’s better to appear unnecessarily rude than an easy victim.
4. Remember the basic precaution
All of these precautionary rules are invented for a reason and could really save your life. So follow them always and everywhere:
- Don’t let your guard down when you’re alone, whether you’re walking down the street, sitting in a car or entering a deserted room;
- don’t walk down the street at night wearing headphones or with your phone on;
- if you spend a lot of time walking alone in the city at night, carry an object that can be used for self-defence (pepper spray, something sharp etc.);
- you should also carry it with you when you go to unfamiliar places;
- don’t forget your torch;
- do not flash your valuables or carry them unnecessarily;
- always alarm your car and check it before you get in;
- if there is a theoretical risk of robbery (you are in a strange city or you are going to a crowded event), hide some money in your shoe: even if someone steals your wallet, you won’t be left with nothing;
- if possible, don’t go with a stranger into an empty public toilet, lift or other places with limited space.
5. Be careful with strangers
As we have noted, perpetrators often pretend well to get as close to the victim as possible. But any little thing can give them away: unkempt or strange appearance, constantly running eyes, dubious offers, such as going around the corner for something. Excessive politeness can also be a red flag. Especially when you have already said a firm “no” and the person keeps talking you down.
Remember, an adequate person will understand your wariness and will not insist. And if the person deliberately benevolently assures you that you have nothing to fear and you should trust him – there is clearly something wrong. Be very careful, too, when someone follows you down a deserted street. If it’s unsettling, turn around sharply and look the person straight in the eye. Then cross the street, turn around, change direction. This will confuse the stalker. And if he continues to chase you, shout.
6. Keep a first aid kit handy.
Hopefully, you don’t ignore the rule that you should always have a first aid kit in your car and make sure that it contains the necessary medication and first aid supplies. Also, make a habit of taking the same supplies when you’re camping or travelling. You never know what you might need.
7. Learn self-defence.
At least the basics. It’s better to learn them and never use them than to have no idea what to do in case of an emergency. But even if you can’t fight well, don’t be shy if you have to. Try any way you can to incapacitate your attacker: kick, bite, pinch. Trust me, a good pinch in the armpit area, for example, is very painful.
8. Try to keep your wits about you
If someone armed takes you hostage, under no circumstances provoke them. Don’t shout, don’t fight, don’t insult, don’t try to escape. Remain calm until you understand your attackers’ demands. If it is within your power to meet their conditions, do so. But if it’s not up to you, just keep as much composure as possible and don’t make any unnecessary contact with the perpetrators.
9. Use the Heimlich trick.
If you’re choking and there’s no one around, you need to act fast. Even if someone is there, you can’t assume that they will be able to help you properly. There is no time to call an ambulance. The best remedy for choking is the Heimlich method. You need to put your fist with your thumb against your body on your abdomen, between your navel and your ribs. Then, with the palm of your other hand, push your fist sharply and hard. You can also bend over any horizontal surface and press on the same area with all your weight.
10. Be more vigilant on holiday
All the same rules apply here as in your hometown, but you should double or triple your vigilance. If you’re travelling alone, be vigilant and never tell the first person you meet about it and don’t give any personal details. Avoid unchecked routes, especially at night. Have some copies of documents with you, don’t forget to put valuables in the safe, if there is one in your room.
11. Learn Morse code
If you never plan to take a boat out on the high seas in your life, this point is not for you. In other cases, knowing how to send an SOS, including your approximate location, is essential. If there is no communication, a distress call can be made using sun-reflecting objects. Also, make sure you have a supply of drinking water, extra clothes and a first aid kit before any swim.
12. Know basic survival rules
Every resident of an isolated island or wilderness area has a small chance of ending up in the wilderness. So it’s a good idea to know how to survive when you’re alone with nature:
- do not, under any circumstances, drink seawater;
- if there’s no fresh water source, you can collect rainwater;
- don’t eat before you make sure you have fresh water: eating causes thirst, which kills faster than starvation (a person can survive three weeks without food, three days without water);
- also don’t eat plants and mushrooms that you don’t know about;
- to avoid heatstroke, don’t stay out in the sun for too long;
- learn beforehand at least one way to find out which way the world is facing – by plants, stars or any other way;
- check the ground carefully for signs of large animals, avoid their tracks;
- if you have to wade through water in cold weather, it is better to take off your clothes to keep them dry;
make a fire by rubbing two dry sticks together.
This is not a complete list of rules for surviving in any situation. Hopefully, you won’t need any of them. But let’s make this material as useful as possible together: write your survival tips in the comments.