Bright Side

7 Tips to Escape Any Emergency Situation Without a Scratch

Life is just filled with the unexpected and you can find yourself in dangerous and scary situations all the time. Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional survivalist to get out of an emergency situation. There are plenty of tips that can help you get through any crisis, maybe even without a scratch.

We at Bright Side always want you to feel safe and secure, so we’re helping you get prepared with a list of tips that can help you survive a whole lot of different emergencies.

1. When you get attacked on the street:

  • When you’re in public areas where you could be attacked, make sure to stay aware by avoiding listening to music or playing with your phone.
  • If you are attacked, however, try to run away if your aggressor pulls out a weapon like a knife or a pipe. Be as loud as possible and call for help. Only submit to your attacker if you are facing a life-or-death situation, like being held at gunpoint.
  • If you are unable to escape, try to damage the soft spots on your opponent, like the eyes, the throat, or even the kidneys. Scratching, biting, or even pulling hair can be used as self-defense. Hitting the nose is especially effective, as it blurs the eyes, as well as inflicts pain. Attacking parts of the legs, like the shins or the ankles, can also help prevent your attacker from coming after you.

2. When you get caught in a current:

  • In general, only swim in areas that have lifeguards on duty to help you.
  • If you still find yourself caught in a strong current, don’t panic and don’t try to swim against it. Figure out which way the current is flowing and swim perpendicular to it, this is the only way to escape.
  • Tread water or float once you start to lose control, lifting your head above the water when you need to breathe. You don’t need to be high above the water to survive, and trying to keep yourself too high can actually waste your energy, so just keep your mouth a little out of the water.

3. When you’re stuck in cold water:

  • If you survive a plane crash or boat crash, you might risk facing dangerously cold waters. As body heat is largely lost through your head, make sure to keep it dry and out of the water.
  • If you are unable to swim back to shore, maintain the H.E.L.P. (“Heat Escape Lessening Postures”), in which you fold your arms and legs to your stomach.
  • If you are with other people, huddling together to keep warm is the best option. Once you leave the waters, it’s best to try to replace your clothes with dry ones as soon as possible.

4. When you’re in a burning building:

  • Find the exit sign. Places like factories or power plants usually have a designated emergency exit. For homes, know all the possible exits and develop an evacuation plan beforehand.
  • When dealing with smoke, crawl low on the floor toward the exit, keeping your head just above the floor to breathe clean air.
  • Test the doorknobs and spaces around the door using the back of your hand and only proceed if it feels cool.
  • If you find yourself trapped, try to contact the fire department. Make a signal from your window if you are unable to make a phone call.

5. When facing a hurricane:

  • If you know a hurricane is coming, try to secure your property, like boarding up your windows and trimming the trees on your property.
  • If you are unable to evacuate your area, stay indoors and avoid windows or anything glass. Close all the doors and take refuge in a small interior room, even a closet or hallway will do.
  • If you have evacuated, do not return home unless you’ve been authorized to do so and avoid flooded areas, since there is a risk that they could have an electrical charge. Unless you are authorized to do so, do not drink tap water or eat food exposed to water, even after the storm, due to the risk of waterborne diseases or chemicals.

6. When facing an earthquake:

  • Drop down and stay under a table or desk. Drop and cover if you are high up in a building. If you are in bed, stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. Try to hold on until the shaking stops.
  • Avoid windows and light fixtures, as well as any furniture that could potentially fall on you.
  • Do not use elevators. If you are in a public building, be prepared to face the sprinklers or the fire system.
  • If you are already outside, drop to the ground in a clear area, keeping away from buildings, trees, or power lines. If you are in your car, pull over and park while staying clear of things that might fall on your car.

7. When getting lost in the woods:

  • Use the S.T.O.P. method. This means to stay calm, think of possible solutions, observe what is around you, and plan your next directions. This will help you retrace your steps if needed.
  • Try to pinpoint your location. If possible, try to get yourself to higher ground to give you a wider view of what surrounds you. Try to find indicators of civilization, like a church steeple or a road. If no higher ground is possible, it’s better to conserve your energy.
  • Look and listen for signs of people. Even areas that are not close to buildings might have farming areas close by. It’s also best to go downhill and stay close to water, since that is more likely to be where people would settle.
  • If you get lost at night, it is usually best to stay put until morning. Try to create a makeshift shelter (it’s best to always have an emergency tent with you). Also, make sure to avoid bodies of water at night since they tend to attract wild animals.

What are some other tips you have to stay safe in an emergency? Please share with us in the comments.

Illustrated by Inna Grevtseva for Bright Side