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Internet Users Share 10+ Survival Life Hacks That Saved Them or Their Loved Ones

Life isn’t full of only pleasant surprises, and people who can give qualified medical first aid are not always around. It’s always better to know in advance how to handle unpleasant situations. Reddit users discussed ways to escape from complicated scenarios with minimum or no loss at all.

We at Bright Side hope you won’t have to use these tips, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and know how to react in unforeseen circumstances.

1.

Don’t walk away from your car if you’re stranded in the desert or in snow. Your car is easier to find than you. If you’re in the desert, you may need to get under your car to protect yourself from the heat.

The exception: If you know where you are and know how to safely get to a safe place, do it, but don’t go in search of help without having a destination in mind. And don’t walk too close to the road, to avoid being hit. @MarsNirgal

2.

Don’t pour water on a grease fire. @PayPerRock

One of the many things I watched on TV as a kid were Elvis Presley movies. In one of his movies, he has a date with a girl in her apartment. She cooks a roast in the oven for dinner. Elvis arrives and the food is burning. Flames are shooting out of the oven. She makes a move to throw water on the fire, but Elvis stops her and grabs a container of salt and throws handfuls of salt onto the fire which promptly puts it out.

Later this helped me to extinguish a grease fire that started in my mom’s kitchen. Thanks, Elvis. Thank you very much. @WallyPlumstead

3.

If you’re lost in the woods, don’t leave your location. People searching for you will start at your last known location or where you were heading, and you’ll just make their job harder by expanding the search area.

If you have to leave, follow the water. Early cities and towns were usually founded near a source of water. If you follow a stream, you’re more likely to run into civilization... Usually downstream, but really depends where you are. @Beeftech67

4.

If you feel an earthquake start and the shaking doesn’t fizzle out after 5 or 10 seconds, assume it will be big and take cover under something sturdy or run outside where there are no power lines or bits of building above your head. Don’t stand in a doorway.

If there was an earthquake at the beach you’re on and you see the water receding away, run to higher ground immediately because a tsunami is coming. If you’re in a town near water and see the water in ditches or rivers flowing the wrong way, seek higher ground too, because it’s another indicator of an upcoming tsunami. @invisiblebody

5.

If you believe someone is in your home, whatever you do, don’t turn on the lights. As much as you’d feel more comforted if the lights were on, you know your house better than anyone. You would have an easy time moving around your house while the intruder will be a lot slower. @TheTntExplosion

And don’t use flashlights either. They will give away your location. @From_the_toilet

6.

Don’t jump in the water to save a drowning person unless absolutely necessary like, for example, to save a child. Drowning people tend to clasp on to their rescuers and drag them under with them. Find something to throw or some sort of lifeline. @WreckedButWhole

If a drowning person does grab on, they will essentially try to climb you like a ladder or push you under, trying to get the leverage to get some air. It’s instinctive at that point and impossible to override. If you’re being pushed under, just swim down out of their grasp, come up little ways away, and try to re-approach. @sweadle

7.

Don’t mix household cleaners, especially bleach and ammonia. This will produce a toxic gas that can poison you. If it happens to you, try to get out of the place where the mixing happened as soon as possible. Get to fresh air. @refreshing_username

8.

You can perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself by making a fist and pushing upward quickly on the space between your rib cage and navel. You can lean on a piece of furniture and quickly thrust your abdomen against the edge. I’ve done it twice. Still alive. @sleepytimeghee

9.

If you’re hiking or doing anything else outdoors alone, tell someone where you’re going and when you should be back. If you become incapacitated, this will greatly increase your chances of survival. @Monicabrewinskie

I work in news in Utah and spend all summer covering missing hikers and this is the smartest thing you can do for yourself! Also, take a little extra food and water because no one ever plans to get lost. @wordofgreen

10.

If you live alone, have a check in person that you text goodnight to and who will notice if you don’t. It isn’t just the elderly who have unexpected risks when living alone. @boredtxan

11.

Get a CO gas detector in your house. One near the furnace and one near your bedroom! You cannot smell or see CO leaks from regular household furnaces. These detectors are pretty inexpensive too. @brkuzma

Fun fact: There are many stories of people thinking their house is haunted because of CO. It causes memory lapses and other symptoms that people attribute to haunting. My friend does spiritual mediumship and apparently the first thing she always asks is, “Do you have a CO detector?” @kharmatika

Also, make sure that once you have purchased one to keep on top of maintaining it, even if it’s as simple as making sure the batteries are good. A few years ago, while I was in my first year of college, my family and dog back home suddenly started to get sick and not feel well (e.g. coughing, low energy, the dog started throwing up). A few days passed, and my dad had already scheduled for someone to come over for a routine furnace inspection/repair estimate. After the inspection, the guy told my dad that the furnace was leaking carbon monoxide and that the current levels in our house were over 3 times the normal permissible limit. We never knew because our carbon monoxide monitor had gone dead all of a sudden. He said that had we not noticed it for a couple more days my parents, younger sister, and dog all could’ve very possibly died in their sleep. @Skylance123

12.

If you’re in the passenger seat of a car, never put your feet on the dashboard. In the event that you’re in a car accident, knee bones into your skull won’t end well. @amariehar

13.

If you have a skin mole that has blurry edges, isn’t symmetrical, is a weird shade of red, weeps fluids, or acts like an open wound that won’t heal, you might have skin cancer. Go to a doctor immediately.

If you have benign skin moles, keep an eye on them. Get an idea of how they should normally look so you’ll notice if any begin to change, as I mentioned above.

Don’t forget to put on sunscreen! @invisiblebody

14.

If you have been on the fence for a while about being too cold to continue in a backcountry situation, you are already too cold. Immediately make emergency efforts to get warm. Having hypothermia severely clouds your judgment. @Yareaaeray

Is there anything you’d like to add to this list? Please share your life-saving tricks in the comments!

Please note: This article was updated in May 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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