Every one of us take necessary steps required to survive in this world. Sometimes, however, life has a way of throwing curve balls that make us put everything at stake. During such times, panic sets in and we can sometimes make the wrong decisions, even though they might seem ideal at the time. Sometimes, the lack of knowledge can also make us underestimate the seriousness of a situation. For such times and to ensure your survival during a critical situation, we have gathered some little known facts that could save your life one day.
1. Never use multiple detergents at the same time in the same room. The mix of gases can cause hazardous situations for your health.
We often have the habit of using multiple detergents to clean our houses and our belongings. While the act is innocent, studies show that you should never mix cleaning products that have bleach with those that contain ammonia. Sodium hypochlorite is an active ingredient in chlorine bleaches whereas ammonia is an active ingredient in window and glass cleaners. When we mix bleach with ammonia, the chemicals cause a release of toxic vapors called chloramines. The vapors can cause irritation to the respiratory system, watery eyes, nausea, and many other symptoms. Prolonged exposure to chloramine vapors can also trigger seizures or cause hazardous situations for your health. (source)
2. When calling 911, the first thing you have to tell the operator is your location and not the reason for your call. This will help speed the dispatch of first responders to your location.
Movies often have the habit of showcasing 911 calls in such a way that the caller informs the operator about what’s going on before they give out their location. Hollywood does it this way so that there’s excitement and thrill in the scene. We however, have the habit copying movies and in such situations, we will do the same. According to experts however, the first thing you need to inform the operator is your location. This not only helps speed up the process of dispatching officers, ambulance and fire fighters, but if the call comes to an abrupt end, the dispatcher knows exactly where help is needed. (source)
3. If you encounter vertigo underwater, then let out some air bubbles. Since air bubbles will always rise to the surface, follow the bubbles to help determine where the surface is.
Divers often encounter a feeling of tilting and dizziness, which is called vertigo. The phenomenon occurs when a person is underwater and is often caused due to an imbalance in pressures within the left and right ears. When encountering vertigo, the information your brain is receiving is dissonant to your view in the water. This means that your brain is basically struggling to process the information. This is also one of the reasons scuba divers use ascend lines so they can find their way back to the surface. In a case where you have no ascend lines available, let out some air bubbles to help determine where the surface is. Once you resurface, signal for help. (source)
4. If you are stranded in the middle of nowhere in your car, use the spare tire to start a fire. The smoke from the tire, which will be thick and black, will be visible from miles away, helping rescuers find you.
Going camping is fun. But, what happens when you are stranded in an isolated area with no network or civilization for miles? In such situations, a signal fire is the best way to call for help. If you have no flares to signal for help, then use petroleum-based products such as tires, oily rags, truck floor mats, and boat cushions. If you burn wood and leaves to start a signal fire, the smoke produced will be white and thus people would consider it as a campfire. However, thick, black smoke is considered a signal fire and can be viewed from miles away. Use this method only when there’s absolutely no other way for you to call for help. (source)
5. If you are outside during a thunderstorm, pay attention to how you feel. If your skin begins to tingle, your hair stands on end, you smell an acrid odor in the air, or you get a metallic taste in your mouth, you might be about to experience a lightning strike.
People often believe that lightning never strikes at the same place twice. While this myth has existed for centuries, it is actually not true. Lightning can and will strike at the same place multiple times, especially if that place is tall, metallic, and isolated. If you are caught in a storm, do not try to outrun it. Instead, pay attention to how you feel. First, find a place that limits you from being isolated, for instance, a ditch. You can also tell when lightning is about to strike by the way your skin tingles, your hair stands up, you smell an acrid odor in the air, or a metallic taste in your mouth. If you experience any of the phenomenon, then move away from any metallic objects, sit down, place your feet against each other and place your hands on your knees. (source)
6. If you encounter a bear in the wilderness, never run since you can’t outrun them. Instead, slowly and calmly, move towards a big object or tree, so that there’s a barrier between you and the wild animal.
If the bear is stationary, in a slow and calm manner, move sideways. This allows you to keep an eye on the bear and at the same time, prevent yourself from tripping and falling. According to the National Park Service, it is also a bad idea to run since bears are capable of running as fast as a racehorse, both uphill and down. Also, it’s a bad idea to climb a tree since both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees. If possible, create a barrier in between you and the bear with the help of a large tree. They will eventually get tired or lose interest. Then, proceed to move away from the animal without making eye contact. The National Park Service also advices to take extreme precaution when you are in a bear area. (source)
7. Before heading out for a big trip, always send detailed information to some of your closest friends. In a situation where you are not able to call for help, or don’t return within the intended time, they will be able to provide authorities with necessary details to come rescue you.
It’s always a good idea to share your travel plans with your friends or family members. This is planning ahead, in case something does not go as you had planned. If you are lost while taking a quick hike in the woods, remember the classic survival mnemonic: Stop, Think, Observe and Plan. First, stop where you are and try to relax. Then think about how you can figure out your location. The US Forest Service advises, “Do not move at all until you have a specific reason to take a step”. Observe the signs around you and if you have a map, try to pinpoint your exact location. And in the final step, plan whether to move forward or to try to retrace your steps.
According to experts, the best thing you can do is to try and stay where you are. This way, rescuers can start from where you left and trace your steps. If you keep moving, then the chances of being rescued gets delayed. (source)
8. Never use water to put out a grease fire since it will only make it stronger. Instead, pour baking soda on it or cover the fire with a lid to cut the supply of oxygen.
Grease fires are more common across the United States than most people imagine. In such a case, whatever you do, do not pour water to put out the fire. The right way to put out a grease fire is with the help of a CO2 extinguisher but in a case where you can’t find one, use baking soda; lots of it. According to experts, the first step is to turn off the source of heat. Then, you should try to deprive the fire of oxygen by covering the pan. If you are not able to safely cover it, then dump lots of baking soda on it, which will cut the oxygen supply. (source)
9. Bad CPR is better than no CPR. The point of CPR is to keep blood flowing to the brain until first responders arrive. Even if you don’t know CPR, it’s best to attempt resuscitation.
A recent study shows that bad CPR is better than no CPR at all. According to a new study by clinical researchers at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, a person’s chances of survival increases if a bystander who has no training performs CPR, instead of no CPR at all. Most bystanders wait for medical professionals to arrive and start the process but this drastically reduces the chances of the person’s survival. When performing CPR, even if it’s not proper, the chances of one’s survival increases. (source)
10. Always carry maximum-strength antihistamines with you when hiking, camping, or partaking in any outdoor activity.
Most people think that they are not allergic to anything but when you go on hikes or camping, there could always be something that you have never encountered before. This is the exact reason why you should always carry maximum-strength antihistamines with you when you are on a trip. It may sound over-cautious but you just never know. (source)