A Secret Agent Shares 12 Tips to Survive in Critical Situations
Clint Emerson is a US Army Special Forces agent who has participated in secret government operations all around the world. After he retired, Emerson wrote an illustrated guidebook where he shared the knowledge and skills necessary to survive in life-threatening situations.
Bright Side has chosen the most interesting illustrations with detailed descriptions of what you should know if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. We hope that you stay safe and don’t have to use these methods; however, these are good tips to keep in mind.
1. How to survive a car crash:
When you’re driving, you should keep your hands at the 3 p.m. mark and the 9 p.m. mark on the wheel. The thumb should be on the external side of the wheel. If your index finger and your thumb are both on the inside of the wheel, the chances of breaking your fingers are extremely high. If you keep your hands crossed, you’ll break not only your wrist but also the forearm.
If you are in the backseat, put your hands on the back of your head, press your forehead against the seat, and keep your knees bent at 90°. If you’re in this position, you will minimize your chances of being hurt.
2. How to avoid a dog attack:
You can use a mixture of water and ammonia to scare away dogs. Ammonia is quite harmless. It doesn’t harm animals in any way, but it scares them away very effectively.
The second way is using a spray with compressed air. Such sprays are usually sold for cleaning keyboards. A strong blow of cold air into the nose will disorient even the most aggressive dogs.
The most effective way is to use a pepper spray or another animal’s urine. Pepper will just scare the dog away, and urine will be considered a sign of someone else’s territory, so the dog won’t follow you.
3. The contents of a special agent’s bag:
All agents carry things that will help them survive in any situation, so it’s definitely some advice worth taking.
- For example, a mouthguard can help you keep your teeth during a collision. A black phone is hard to notice, which is useful when you need to record something without anyone knowing. And a pocket knife can help in several different situations.
4. How to defend yourself from a chokehold:
A chokehold is one of the most commonly used moves. When someone is performing it, they press on the carotid artery, shutting down the supply of oxygen. The victim loses consciousness after 3–5 seconds. But there is a way to defend yourself.
- The first thing you should do is draw your neck in, and try to squeeze your arm under the arm of the attacker. This helps to prevent suffocation.
- After that, bend and grab the attacker’s shoulder, bend forward, pulling the shoulder down. As a result, you will throw the attacker over your back and stun them.
5. How to deal with a rip current:
If you have seen any spy movies, you might have noticed that secret agents often have to land on water from a plane or a helicopter. But in real life, it’s not the jump from a great height that’s dangerous, but the rip current which won’t let you come close to the shore.
A rip current is a water flow which can appear in any place 30–50 ft from the shore.
If you are in a rip current, don’t move forward, but instead try to swim diagonally or parallel to the shore. Such currents are never wide, so you can easily cross them and save your life.
6. How to barricade the door:
One of the most reliable ways to barricade a door so that it will be hard to break is to put wooden wedges around the door.
A mop or a chair put under the door handle can also hold the door very well. But you need some kind of support on the floor (wooden or rubber) so that the mop doesn’t slip.
Another easy way is to just move some heavy objects in front of the door. This will force the attacker to not just try to get the door open, but he must then also get past the objects.
7. Where to hide if you are being shot at:
Shootings are normal for Hollywood movies, but it’s definitely not something we’re used to or ever wish to witness. However, in real life, agents have to shoot quite often.
To protect yourself, you need to find good cover. If you are at home, you should use a solid table with a granite surface instead of an armchair or a couch. If you are outside, the best cover is flowerpots. If you are hiding behind a car, hide behind the front part rather than the back of the car.
- Such things as clipboards and hardcover books stop bullets well if you use them as a bulletproof vest.
8. What to do when your hands are tied:
Every agent knows that if you are tied up well, it will be virtually impossible to free yourself. That’s why you should think your strategy through and use some tricks.
If someone is tying up your hands, try to press your thumbs against each other. Leave some space between your hands. This will give you a chance to free your hands.
If someone if tying you to a chair, take a deep breath, bend your back, and spread your legs. This will create additional free space which will let you go free later.
Another trick that US agents often use is holding a part of the rope when you are being tied up.
9. The best places for stashes:
There are many good places for a stash where you can easily hide money, information, or listening devices. A good special agent must know all of them.
- The best places are empty drape runners, devices (TV or fridge), sockets, and furniture coverings.
10. How agents manage not to leave any fingerprints:
An agent should be stealthy and elusive. Being elusive means leaving no fingerprints. There are many ways to avoid leaving traces behind:
- White cotton gloves: They leave no trace, and even if they do, you will notice right away.
- You can use glue or nail polish: They won’t let your fingers leave anything on any surface.
- Pumice stone is also a good idea: It is used for rubbing feet, so it’s also good for getting rid of fingerprints at least for a few days.
11. How to get free if your hands and legs are tied:
Getting your legs free: Stand up straight, and put your feet in a “V” position. Then jump and when landing, spread your knees very quickly. Any kind of duct tape will be torn momentarily.
Getting your arms free: If your hands are tied behind your back, you need to move them forward. Now put your hands forward and spread them to the sides very quickly.
12. How to get through a roadblock:
In movies, you’ve most likely seen the main characters go through a roadblock at full speed. After that, they usually keep going as if nothing happened. In real life, you need to find a weak spot to get through such a roadblock.
- Find the biggest space between 2 cars. Now check which car is at the biggest angle from you. The front or the back part of the car is the weakest spot and your best chance to get through the roadblock.
Which tips seem the most useful to you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Illustrated by Anna Syrovatkina for BrightSide.me