Like most people, you probably think that if you ever found yourself in a dangerous or life-threatening situation, you would rise to the occasion and save your life (as well as the lives of those around you.)
In reality, though, people don’t “rise to the occasion.” They sink to their level of training.
You can’t use the knowledge that you don’t have.
Luckily, you can gain that knowledge today.
A recent AskReddit thread gave people the opportunity to share life-saving information that you can follow if you happen to find yourself in any of these dangerous situations.
You should probably take some notes.
If you encounter lions:
If you ever encounter lions, DON’T RUN.
If they come towards you, growling, it’s to say you are too close but they will not attack you. Just walk away slowly and don’t lose sight of them.
Or stand your ground.
Intelligence is your biggest weapon. Shout and clap your hands, and they will run away. –TheAfricaBug
If you’re being tied up:
If you’re being tied up, puff yourself out as much as possible so it’ll be easier to wiggle out of.
Tense muscles, inhale deep and stretch out your arms and legs to make more space. –snazzypurplefish
When performing CPR:
If you’re performing CPR on someone who’s stopped breathing/heart has stopped, don’t stop until EMTs take the body away.
Don’t stop after 2 mins thinking “Well that didn’t work.”
CPR typically won’t cause the victim’s heart to suddenly start and or for them to jerk awake — it’s mostly to force blood circulation to prevent brain death.
You’re not forcing life into them; you’re preserving a corpse to keep a ‘revivable’ state. –blznaznke
When in cold weather:
Dressing in layers-holds the heat in better. Stay dry. Protect your feet, hands, and face.
If you plan on going long distances, have a plan to move on top of the snow and let people know where you are going. Never go on ice unless it is at least 4″ thick. 6″ if you have a snowmobile. 8″ for a small car. 12″ for medium trucks.
Clear ice is stronger than “snow ice” Always watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia. —hungryamerican
This next tip is for people who spend a lot of time at the beach or pool.
When supervising swimmers:
A person who is drowning doesn’t look like people drowning on TV.
When someone is drowning, they rarely cry out, can’t wave their arms around, and will often just bob/sink at the surface for a very little while, often gasping, before submerging.
Don’t expect it to look like the movies when you’re keeping an eye on swimmers. –flora_poste_haste
When approached by a service dog:
If a service dog comes to you for attention, immediately locate their owner. They could be using a last-ditch effort to get help.
A few months ago when I was on a delivery for work, I was stopped by a dog who ran out in the middle of the road (residential). I got out and tried to move the dog, but it followed me all the way to the door of my delivery.
Once I was done, I checked the dog’s tag to bring it home, and I noticed he had all kinds of medical tags.
After I realized what the dog was trying to do, I ran toward the correct address, and the dog led me through a screen door on the porch. His owner was passed out on the floor, and I called 911.
The guy had a phone (brought by the dog) by his head and a bag of medications by his side. The dog had done everything it was trained to do, but the person had passed out before it could do anything.
The ambulance came, got his pulse back, and took him to the hospital.
I don’t know if he ended up surviving, but if I hadn’t checked the dog’s tags and realized it was a medical animal, I wouldn’t have hurried, blatantly invited myself in his house, and ultimately gotten him to the point of survival. –Akhenatenaten
Embassies/consulates have emergency numbers they answer 24 hours a day.
Save (on your phone) the phone number of your nearest embassy/consulate when abroad.
If you get in many kinds of trouble (with the police, other legal issues, medical stuff, if you’re a victim of a crime, lost your passport, etc.), they can help you much more effectively than your family/friends back home can.
When dealing with a stab wound:
Do not pull objects (knife, glass, splinter, etc.) from a deep wound.
They might be sealing or slowing flow from an artery, or they might cut an artery when you pull them out.
Put pressure around such an object to slow the bleeding until emergency responders take over. –A40
When someone is choking:
If someone is choking, but they are coughing/talking, DO NOT INTERVENE.
Let them cough it out. The ability to cough is a sign that air is able to get in and out and that they only have a partial obstruction in their airway.
If you try to intervene with the Heimlich or back blows, you could force it out, or you could dislodge the blockage and cause a full obstruction.
Obviously, if they’re not breathing or coughing then you should definitely administer back blows, just remember to check in between each one in case you partially dislodge the object. –Loubang
This next tip may come in handy if you ever go shopping on Black Friday.
When caught in a stampede:
As soon as you get knocked down your chances decrease significantly.
If this is the case, however, and you can’t get up immediately, assume a protective posture with your feet tucked up and your hands covering your head.
Try to position your face in the direction the crowd is moving so you don’t get kicked and try to get back on your feet ASAP. –Ammadu_LetsdoKummudu
When stuck in a riptide:
If you get caught up in an undercurrent and notice you’re getting dragged slowly out to sea, do not swim directly toward shore.
Swim parallel to the shore until you don’t feel yourself being pulled out, then swim directly toward the shore. –HardCounter
When you’re lost:
If you are lost in the desert, or a lot of places for that matter, the number one thing you can carry to increase your chances of being found is a small reflective mirror.
Anytime a plane flies overhead you can reflect light towards them, and you greatly increase your chances of being found.
This seriously is more important than carrying more water with you (not that water doesn’t help, it’s just not realistic to carry that much water on your back).
Furthermore, if you get stranded in the desert with a vehicle, do not leave your vehicle to find people. You are a lot harder to see than your vehicle, and your car can provide shelter (your car has some good reflective mirrors to signal with, especially the rearview mirror).
Finally, the universal sign for needing to be rescued is waving two arms up and down.
If you can’t use both of your arms, there is another universal way to signal for help that is more versatile.
The way I can best describe it is three of anything quick signal. Three gunshots, three whistle blows, three flashes of a flashlight, three flashes from a reflective mirror, etc.
Just make sure they are spaced widely enough (at least one second) and that you spend a considerable time before making your next three signals. –RIPGeorgeHarrison
When turning across traffic:
When you’re making a turn across oncoming traffic, keep your wheels pointing straight ahead until the opportunity comes for you to make the turn.
If your wheels are facing into the turn and someone hits you from behind, they will push you into the oncoming traffic and dead you will go. –TheMotorcycleBoy
When working with dangerous materials:
If you work around stuff that can cut someone easy (metal scrap, sheet metal or really any factory or construction work) wear a belt.
I don’t care if don’t need one to hold your pants up. A belt can be a quick, easy tourniquet and save a life. –Therew0lf17
These next tips are ones you’ll hopefully never have to use.
In the event of a nuclear explosion:
In a nuclear explosion, most of the damage and death is caused by the shockwave the blast creates, not the fireball which has a comparatively small radius.
One day you may find yourself outside or looking out a window to see an extremely bright flash. As bright as if you were staring straight at the sun.
Do not attempt to locate the source of the flash. You have maybe 8-10 seconds to respond if you’re far enough away from the fireball.
Lay face down on the ground and put your thumbs in your ears and fingers over your eyes. Breathe through your teeth. Since you’re laying face down the shockwave will mostly pass over you. (If you’re standing up it can cause your lungs, eardrums, and other organs to explode.)
Once the shockwave passes over you, you need to find shelter immediately.
I said before that most death from the explosion is caused by the shockwave. Well, FAR more death is subsequently caused by nuclear fallout AFTER the blast.
Do not attempt to travel anywhere. Just get underground. If you’re next to a complete stranger’s house or a business, don’t hesitate to go inside and hide out under as much concrete and steel as possible.
You need to remain in this location for the next 48 hours. This is critical.
Even if you survive the blast if you attempt to go home and spend just 20 minutes outside traveling you will more than likely die of radiation sickness.
Radioactive material after a blast decays exponentially, and you will be safe to try and find your loved ones after 48 hours.
If you don’t wait this out, you definitely won’t be alive to find them.
When you’re ready, you need to leave the city and get as far from the fallout as you can. –rasmeverson
Look behind you every so often when you’re hiking. If you think you’re being watched, chances are you probably are, and have been for quite a while.
Bring a mirror as well. If you turn around you ruin the element of surprise for any hungry predators, and they’ll likely scurry away or at least give you time to escape.
If you turn around and DO see something, start making as much noise as you can, don’t stay quiet, and do not, for the love of God, turn back around if you think it’s gone.
Back away slowly for as long as you can. ––Alyssa
If you witness an accident:
If you see someone wearing a motorcycle helmet have an accident, DO NOT pull their helmet off for any reason.
By all means, loosen the chin strap, but leave the helmet on and let the paramedics or doctors deal with it. You don’t know what that helmet is holding together. –TassieGal
Same thing with children in car seats. If you’re in an accident, do not take children out of their car seat. No matter how much they’re crying. –scdjsl117
When you suspect you’re being followed:
If you think you’re being followed, turn right four times. Since you’ll get to the same place, they shouldn’t be following you anymore.
If they do, you might be in trouble.
Since it’s a common warning that you shouldn’t go home when you think someone is following you, the smartest is to go to a police station. –MentLDistortion
If you witness someone having a seizure:
If I’m having a seizure, don’t move me, wake me or try to stick a spoon in my mouth.
Instead, start timing it, move things out my way and ring an ambulance.
When someone comes round from a seizure, they are usually confused and dazed. They may have memory loss and not be sure where they are or who you are.
It’s OK to say, “You had a seizure, but everything is OK. I’m such and such, your friend/husband/random stranger, and you’re here at X place.” –Elycis
Share this with your friends. You may just save a life.