If there is one absolute truth about life that all of us can agree upon, it is that ‘Life is unpredictable’. You never know what is going to happen and you have no way of being prepared to face an unexpected and even worse, a life-threatening situation. So here are some potentially life-threatening situations that you should be prepared for. And please remember that if you ever come across a situation like this, God forbid, but if you do, DO NOT PANIC. That’s the first rule.
Being held at gun point
The people on the other end of the gun probably have no plans of killing you. So stay calm. Or at least pretend to be calm. And don’t do anything in haste. Think through your situation. Think about what they want from you. If it’s money or jewelry, just give in to their demands. That’s the smartest thing to do. We don’t want this to turn into a homicide. And keeping that in mind, don’t try to put up a fight unless, you are learned in the field of martial arts. Especially if you are with your family, it is best to make getting out of that place unharmed your first priority. Also, you will have to call emergency services as soon as possible. But make sure your prospective killers are at least a hundred meters away and there’s no possibility of them hearing you.
This is also a similar situation. Give in to their demands. Obviously, your life is more important than your wallet. Don’t try to argue or reason with your muggers. And no matter what you do, don’t threaten them. This will anger them and they may shoot you and even your near and dear ones. And inform the police when you are sure than you are out of danger.
Being chased by a snake
When a snake chases you, run straight. And run fast. Run straight because a snake will slither and meander. And if you don’t run straight ahead, the snake is sure to catch you. If you are being chased by a water snake, don’t panic and attack the snake because most water snakes are harmless. And they won’t come at you unless something triggers them and they feel that you are a threat to them. And they will feel that way because you are in their territory. So, start swimming away in the opposite direction and swim fast because there won’t be any time to assess if the snake is poisonous or harmful. And once you are out of their territory, they will stop chasing you. But next time, be careful where you take that swim.
Chased by an elephant
Elephants are pretty smart creatures. And most of the time they will not be really charging at you. They will test if you are a threat to them by making mock charges. How will you know if it is a real or mock charge? Look at the elephant’s ears, if the ears are relaxed and fanned out, it is a mock charge. In which case, stand absolutely still. If the elephant’s ears are pinned back flat, it is most probably going to charge at you. This will be accompanied by a curling of the trunk and a trumpeting warning. If you are sure that the elephant is indeed chasing you, make very loud noises. This will prove to the elephant that you are not a threat. And avoid running. Look around you and find something that’ll act as a barrier between you and the elephant and hide. Remember to stay low when you hide because this will make it difficult for the elephant to sniff you out. But if you are in an open space and you have to run, run in a zigzag manner, unlike the snake escapade. And run fast. Because of the size and weight of the elephant, it will not be able to move itself fast enough in zigzags. So it’ll help if you meander. If you run straight, the elephant will catch up to you.
Falling down a flight of stairs
This is something that you will do as a reflex: as you fall down, hold onto the nearest handrail and support yourself. If there are no handrails to support yourself with and you know you are doomed for a steep fall, cover your head and try to hold your head up when you hit the floor. This will make sure your fall does not prove fatal.
A fire cracker injury
For any injury, the first thing that you have to do is to clean and dry the wound. You can use mild soap and lukewarm water to clean it. A topical ointment is not really necessary unless the wound is really deep. Because sometimes, excessive use of the ointment may make the wound moist and delay the healing process. If you have been burnt and the pain is unbearable, it is okay to have over-the-counter medication or apply topical numbing ointments. If the size of the wound is larger than your palm, you should see a physician. Also, if the burn is near your eyes, nose, ears, fingers or toes it is better to consult a physician irrespective of the size of the wound. And no matter how small the wound is, if you notice the wound getting infected it is better if you consult a doctor.
Slipping and falling into a manhole
As soon as you realize that you are falling into a manhole, your hands will come to your rescue as a reflex. So use your hands to make sure your entire body doesn’t fall into it. And don’t panic because your injuries will be minor. Call someone to help you get out and visit the ER. You are likely to sprain your ankle or bruise your hands and body. So just get medication to treat those injuries.
A car crash
As soon as you realize that your car has crashed, don’t move or scream immediately. Make sure you can feel all your body parts. This is to make sure there is no paralysis. If there is some part that you cannot feel, it is better if you don’t move and call for help. But if you feel fine, help the kids get out if there are any and then go for the adults. And call an ambulance. If any of them are passing out, keep talking to them and don’t let them pass out until the paramedics get there. Sometimes victims tend to pass out from the excruciating pain caused by their injuries. And most importantly, it is better to get yourself checked at the ER even if you feel completely fine. Because internal injuries are a possibility. And also, some victims may experience posttraumatic psychological distress or something of that sort so they may need counseling. And if the police aren’t already in the spot, call them.
Car plunges into a river
Remove your seat belt first. This should be your reflex. And do this as soon as you realize that the car is headed for a water plunge because the seat belt may get jammed. And as soon as you are in the water, try to open the door, if it doesn’t open, open the window or break it (you can use the head rest and keep your face away). And get out of the car. Remember that the front windows of the car are bigger than the ones at the back. And swim to the surface along with the other victims. If there’s an infant, hold onto him/her tightly and swim fast to the surface. If you cannot swim, use whatever objects you can find to push you up. And if you have a dog, get it out of the car and it’ll make its way to the top. Don’t try and call 911 because it’ll take time for them to get there. Get to the surface before calling them. And seek medical attention, even if you feel fine.
A fall from a height
Get your hands up to your face and protect your head. But if you are falling down face first, turn your head to the side. And also try and land on your side. This is the best way to minimize injury. If you fall on your back, you risk breaking your spine and if you fall on your chest, you risk breaking your ribs and we don’t want either of that. And look around and check your surroundings before getting up. And go straight to the ER for a consultation.
A plane crash
Plane crashes aren’t necessarily as bad as the movies make them out to be. So don’t panic. If you are alive after the crash landing, there’s a good chance that you can escape alive. But there’s a catch. You’ve got only 90 seconds to do it. Soon after the crash landing, the aircraft will get engulfed in a fire from the impact and this takes a little more than a minute. So don’t relax after you’ve survived the impact. Get out of the plane ASAP. And this seems too obvious, but only save lives. Don’t carry your luggage out. And remember that the first 3 minutes after take off and the last 8 minutes before the landing is the most likely time when a plane is prone to a crash. So don’t doze off. And put your head down on your knees when you know about the impending crash and make sure you are wearing your seatbelt. And wear your oxygen mask as soon as it drops before helping others. And act fast and save as many lives as you can. In case the plane lands in water, put on your life jacket but don’t inflate it (even if there’s water in the plane) until you are out of the plane. Because if the jacket is inflated and you are in the water inside the plane, the jacket will force you to the top and you will be trapped when the aircraft fills with water. And most importantly, follow the instructions of the flight attendants.
A ship sink
Wear a life jacket and follow directions that your captain gives. Do not jump into the water if the fall is going to be more than 20m because you will then be falling at a speed of 50 mph which will make the surface of water feel as hard as concrete and you may end up with a severe injury or you may even die. Your priority should be to get yourself and your loved ones on a life boat and then wait to be rescued.
Becoming the target of a bear at a camping trip
Rule number 1: Don’t run. Or climb trees. Bears are excellent at tree climbing. Stand your ground and make very loud noises. Wave your hands above your head so that you appear bigger to the bear. And if the bear attacks you, fight back. But don’t corner the bear. Use anything that you can find like sticks and rocks to attack the bear. Focus on the bear’s face and snout. If the bear knows that you are not going to quit, it’ll give up. But if you are not up to the fighting, lie down and stop breathing. If the bear believes that you are not a threat, it’ll leave once it sniffs you all over and tosses you around a little. But make sure to keep lying down like that because bears are known to wait around to make sure they are not being fooled.
First see if you can cough or talk. Because of you can, your windpipe is not completely blocked. And don’t drink anything to help you swallow the food as it can make things worse. You will have to cough as hard as you can to get the food out. Alternatively, you can also make a fist and press your stomach really hard below your rib cage and above your belly button. If you are not alone, ask your friend to do this. It is more effective if they hold you from the back and press their fist against your stomach in the front. This should help dislodge the food. If all this fails, call 911. Even if you cannot talk, they will send help as long as you don’t hang up.
Chest pains or discomfort in the chest area
In most cases, discomfort or pain in the chest area is nothing serious. But how do you know it’s not serious? When the pain lasts only a couple of minutes, when antacids ease the pain, when the pain increases when you take a deep breath and reduces if you don’t breathe for a few seconds or when you can recognize the exact spot where there is pain, it is most likely a digestion problem and nothing serious. If it isn’t like any of this and the pain is not relieved with medicine, it spreads to other parts of your body like your neck, jaw, shoulders or arms and it is accompanied with shortness of breath or sweating or vomiting or nausea, you should definitely consult a doctor.
A serious allergic reaction to food
You know you are having an allergic reaction to food when you experience sudden wheezing, you have difficulty breathing, you feel dizzy, you faint, your pulse becomes weak or fast, or you experience facial swelling. In any case, you will have to take the victim to the ER immediately. If the victim has experienced such a reaction before, they should be having medication that would have been prescribed already. So, they can immediately consume this before going to the ER. But you definitely have to consult a doctor, even if your reaction subsides.
The first thing that you have to do is to keep the wound elevated. We don’t want gravity helping the bleeding. If the wound is small, wash it with a mild soap and water. Apply mild pressure on the wound for 10 minutes with a folded cloth or bandage and the bleeding will stop. If the wound is larger than your palm, don’t clean it. Go to the ER immediately.
A nose bleed
Sit down with your face slightly bent forward as this will relieve pressure off the nasal veins and slow the bleeding. Now press the bleeding nostril against the septum and hold until bleeding stops. Do not blow your nose while you do this and for at least a couple of weeks after as this may cause it to bleed again.
A lightening strike
It is safe to touch a person who has been struck by lightening. If the person is unconscious and is not breathing, and if you know CPR, do it. You do not have to remove burned clothing unless it is necessary. Call Emergency medical help immediately.
An electric shock
If your friend is experiencing shock, hit the point of contact with something wooden or rubber. Do not touch them yourself. If there are severe burns, seek medical help.
A train wreck
Rush to the compartment that is in the middle of the train. The compartments in the front and the back are most likely to get derailed. After the crash your priority should be to get out as fast as you can. Leave all your belongings behind and get out through the window. And most importantly, follow all instructions that the crew is giving you.
Seizures usually last between 60 and 90 seconds. But you should time the seizure if you can. If it lasts more than 5 minutes or if the person is pregnant, call for medical help immediately. Do not hold down the person, as this may cause injuries. Loosen tight clothing around the neck and waist. Do not make them eat or drink anything until they are fully awake.
Surviving a Bee Sting and evading killer bees
If bees keep stinging you, don’t stand still. Run away. But don’t keep swatting at them. That’ll make them angrier. You should run through bushes or tall plants. Jumping into water may cause the bees to wait for you to surface so they can sting you some more.
If you feel like puking, put a cool wet cloth on your forehead or at the back of your neck and lie down facing the ceiling. Do not use an ice pack. If you are in closed chambers, go out and get some fresh air. If you are in a car, it’ll help if you roll the windows down. You could also smell lemons and drink water to stop the nausea.
Hearing a gun shot in the vicinity
Please don’t go out and look. The shooter will want to eliminate any witnesses. And also, you do not know how many of them are there. So it is not smart to go in search of them. And let us not forget that he is armed. So call the police immediately.
A dog bite
When a dog bites you, hold a clean towel on the bite to stop the bleeding. And then clean the wound with a mild soap and water. Not all dog bites result in rabies. So don’t panic. If an unknown stray dog bites you, inform animal control immediately to capture the dog. In any case, visit a physician immediately.
A shark attack
If a shark is attacking you, use anything that you can get your hands on to hurt the shark. You could use your camera or just your fist. Hit the shark on its eyes or gills, as they are most sensitive to pain. A shark will continue attacking you only if it is sure that it has an advantage over you. If it feels like it will not win, it’ll leave you alone.
A crocodile attack
If you unintentionally fall into water where you know there are crocodiles, do not panic. Quietly swim to the nearest shore and get out of the water as soon as you can. If you scream and start splashing water around, you will be attracting attention from the crocodiles. If a crocodile is charging towards you on land, run away as fast as you can. Crocodiles are slower on land than in water, so you can easily outrun them. Now, if you are being attacked and cannot run, grab whatever you can catch hold of and go for the eyes. Sometimes, the crocodile may merely bite you and then let you go. If it does this, just run as soon as it lets to go. This is only the crocodile being defensive. But if it bites you and doesn’t let go, it is most likely to drag you into water and you should fight back and free yourself. And seek medical attention immediately when you escape.
Encounter with an unleashed tiger
Back away slowly. And don’t panic. Remember that tigers can sense fear. Make yourself appear huge and brave. Stand on a rock and wave your hands above your head. And look into its eyes. It may be hard but look into its eyes. And make as much noise as you possibly can. Do not run. You CANNOT outrun a tiger in his jungle. Some people say that you may scare the tiger if you scream loudly and run towards it but I hope you never have to try this.
A wild animal is on your car
Do not scream. And stop the car. The animal will give up if you remain quiet inside. And don’t worry that it may break your windshield or windows, it is not that easy and you are not in Jurassic Park.
Surviving a polar bear attack
Polar bears have a tendency to stalk their prey before they attack it. If it is going to attack you it’ll clap its paws together, snap its jaws and make a loud noise. Sometimes, they may also stamp their feet. If the bear charges towards you, make an awful lot of noise. If there are a lot of you, all of you should scream at the top of your voices and this might scare the bear off. If it doesn’t work, attack the bear with whatever you can find and target the face and snout.
Surviving a moose attack
A moose is a humongous creature. They do not want anything that doesn’t belong with them trespassing in their domain. And due to their huge size, they cannot run really fast and they always choose fight over flight when threatened. So it would be advisable to not make the moose feel threatened or attack it. As this will make the moose gear up for a fight. If it is approaching you, it is a warning. If it swings its head in your direction, it is preparing to attack you and you should run. And the moose is sure to not chase you very far. In case, the moose catches up to you and knocks you down, cur up in a ball to minimize injuries from its icks and stomps and don’t try and get up immediately as this may cause the moose to attack you more.
Surviving a cougar attack
Cougars generally don’t attack people travelling in groups of more than two. Cougars stalk their prospective preys patiently and wait for the right time to strike. When you encounter ne, don’t run. Stand tall and face the cougar. Try and appear larger than the cougar. Raising your hands over your head might help. Also, never take your eyes off the animal or show your back. Shout as much as you can and make aggressive noises and movements if it seems like the cougar is going to charge at you.
Surviving a bison attack
There have been so many instances of bisons attacking human beings. So it is advised to not go within a 100 yards radius of a bison. A bison may look slow but they can run fast and catch up to you. You could also climb a tree as bisons cannot climb after you. But bisons also don’t attack to kill. They just feel threatened because you are in their territory. So just maintain distance.
Surviving a deer attack
Remember that a deer will attack you only when it feels cornered or threatened. Otherwise, deers are the kinds of animals that mind their own businesses. So stay clear of its young ones. If the deer has antlers put as many objects between you and the deer. Make yourself appear bigger by waving your hands or your jacket above your head. If you are sure that you are going to be attacked, curl up in a fetal position and cover your head and the deer will let you go after a few thumps. A deer will most probably not attack to kill.
Surviving a wolf attack
Wolves are known to be very cunning and stalk their preys before attacking them from the back. And once you are down, the entire pack will crowd around you. And don’t run as that may trigger an attack and you cannot run faster than the wolf. They’d catch up to you in a jiffy. You could also yell at the wolves to make them back off. Also use weapons to fend of the animals. And if you are in a group, stand in a circle facing the animals and attack them with whatever you can lay your hands on.
See a kid drowning
If you can’t swim, don’t jump in. You will not be helping anyone. But if you can, ask someone else to call 911 before you jump in. And if possible jump with something floatable like a raft or something to help the toddler because sometimes the child may drag you down. And warm your child up and take them to the ER ASAP.
Super hot coffee or any liquid spill
Remove the clothes on the spilled area and run it under cold water for 10 minutes. Cover it up loosely with gauze. If you leave it uncovered it will heal fast. Don’t put ice, butter or antibiotic ointment on the burn. And consult a doctor if the wound blisters and if it is bigger than a quarter.
See a tornado approaching when you are driving
If there’s not much traffic and you see a tornado approaching, drive onward in a direction that is preferably opposite where the tornado is headed. And also stay away other cars and objects that could be blown towards you.
Lose your child in a store
Quickly call out your child’s name as loudly as you can and look all around. If you cannot find your kid, alert someone who works at the store immediately. Don’t hesitate to ask for help because store associates can immediately block exits or man them to ensure that your child does not leave the store.
Caught in a rip tide
You should focus on not getting caught up in the current. So you will have to keep swimming until you are completely away from the current. Keep swimming parallel to the beach and then make your way towards the shore. Don’t try and fight the tide as it can tire you and you may drown.
Do not rinse it with fresh water. It will make the pain worse. So rinse it with seawater and remove any visible tentacles. And then cover the wound with a cloth soaked in white vinegar until you cannot feel the pain. If you are experiencing any allergic reaction like difficulty breathing or wheezing, consult a doctor immediately.
Poked in the eye with something sharp
You will know if it was something really sharp. So don’t try to open your eyes. Just cover it with a cloth and let your eyes remain closed. An ophthalmologist will have to examine it. Don’t rub your eyes or put ice on it.
First of all, don’t panic. If your heart beats fast, the blood flow will be more in the affected area and this will make the venom spread faster. So stay calm. It is likely that the bitten area will swell. Remove any clothes or accessories that may be covering the bitten area. And don’t keep moving the bitten area. If there is someone who can carry you, let him or her, as you may risk circulation of the venom if you walk. Properly describe the snake and the nature of the pain/discomfort to the paramedics and doctors and they will give you appropriate treatment.
In the beach during Tsunami
Tsunamis are usually triggered by earthquakes. So you should get as far away from the beach as soon as you experience the earthquake. If you miss the quake, the waves will rise to abnormal heights and trash the shore. And the sea may draw itself inside. But this will probably be too late for you to start running. So unless you have a vehicle parked nearby and you can drive away in that, you cannot outrun the tsunami. Also animals in the vicinity will behave abnormally. And grab onto a tree or a branch and hold on tight until the tsunami dies down. And go as high up as you can (climb onto a tree or to the top of a building).
You find a burglar in your house when you get back after a vacation
If you feel something is different about your house like a broken window or something, don’t go in. Call the police. But if you are already inside and you realize that something is fishy, call the police ASAP. And if you come face to face with the burglar, don’t threaten them and give into their demands especially if they are armed.
If a man doesn’t take no for an answer, get away as far from him as you possibly can. And if you cannot, don’t hesitate to hurt him. Wherever. However. Use anything that you can find in your defense. And you should have one of those apps on your phone that will intimate your family and friends immediately if you are in danger.
If you feel like you are being stalked
If you suspect that you are being stalked, make sure you stay in crowded places. And turn on the GPS on your phone and send your location to a guardian. If the stalking persists, it is better to inform the police. And make sure that someone close to you is informed about it.
When your car is stuck in mud
The most common mistake made when your car is stuck is to accelerate as fast as you can. But don’t do it. It will only make matters worse. First move your steering wheel left and right to create enough room for your car to move forward. If your car is automatic, put it in the lowest gear and slowly accelerate. But if it is manual, put it in the second or third gear and gently release the clutch. If this fails, increase the surface area of the tires by releasing some air from them. And then dig out some mud from around the tires and place something under them like branches, boards or car floor mats. And then accelerate slowly and get your car out. And once your vehicle is free, inflate your tires again to the normal amount and drive slowly for sometime until the tires are free of the mud before returning to your normal driving.
A person catches fire
Whether it is you or someone else, make sure the victim does not run. If you run, the air will make the fire worse. And don’t remain standing as the fire may burn your face. Roll on the floor or ground preferably on mud or in a blanket. If the burns or not too deep, run the wounds under cold water. If the burns are too severe, consult a doctor immediately.