Every life is precious and in this fast moving world, it is important to be aware of the rapid changes. Being aware of your surroundings and the ability to make quick decisions, increases the chances of your survival. Without the proper knowledge, there have been cases where people have made wrong decisions, which ultimately cost them big time. To help you gain some important knowledge about survival, we have gathered a list of little-known facts that could potentially save your life one day.
1. If you encounter an aggressive bear in the wild.
Spending time in the wild and being disconnected from all electronics can be relaxing. However, in the wilderness, we are not alone. Bear attacks are not uncommon and they are mostly caused by inappropriate human behavior or lack of knowledge. The most common types of bears are grizzlies and black bears. While hiking, camping or simply walking through the woods, if you encounter a bear, never make an effort to feed or approach it. Instead, walk backwards slowly and calmly while keeping your eyes fixed on the bear. If you make an effort to take your eyes away and run, the bear will charge.
In a situation where a bear is charging at you, take cover behind a big tree, car or large object. While bears are excellent runners, capable of running up to speeds of 25 mph, they cannot maneuver around objects as quickly as you can, due to their size. By keeping a large object between you and the bear, they will eventually give up because of boredom or tiredness. Never climb a tree because bears are excellent climbers and it would only reduce your chances of survival. If you are ever camping in the wilderness, make sure all foods are wrapped in bear-proof containers at least one hundred yards from your tent. Garbage and the clothing you wear while cooking should also be stashed this far away. (source)
2. If you ever smell an unexplained fish odor or urine smell in your house, the most common culprit is overheated plastic, which can lead to an electrical fire.
If you ever encounter a strong fish or urine smell inside your home, 9 out of 10 times, it is an electric wire melting; which could possibly lead to an electrical fire. Usually, the smell is recognized when the air conditioning system kicks in because the vents pick up the smell from the source and spreads it around the house. If you encounter the smell, it means an outlet, a switch, an electrical breaker, wiring, even an overloaded extension cord is overheating or possibly melting. In such a case, turn off the circuit breakers until you find the source of the problem or a professional takes a look at it and ensures that it is safe to turn the power on. (source)
3. If you experience vertigo during a dive and are unable to determine which way is up, blow bubbles.
Vertigo is a common experience to divers, especially scuba divers. It is a feeling of tilting and dizziness, that is caused by an imbalance in pressures within the left and right ears on either descend or, more commonly, ascend. The experience can be quite frightening, especially with inexperienced divers. In a case where you suffer from vertigo, always sign to your partner or dive assistant that you are in need of help. If you are by yourself, then making an ascend can be extremely difficult and in such a case, blow bubbles. The bubbles will always move towards the surface and you can use this information to make a slow ascend. (source)
4. If your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, burn a spare tire since it will create thick black smoke, allowing rescuers to track you down easily.
Our cars can be reliable but there often comes times where external factors can cause it to break down. In a case where your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone service to call for help, experts suggest taking advantage of a spare tire. First, deflate the tire by removing the valve core or by puncturing it, then ignite the tire. The thick black smoke will not only attract those miles away, but will aid others in pin-pointing your location. If there are no spare tires available, open the hood of the car and tie a rag to the antennae. Also wear bright clothes, so passing aircrafts can see you better. Experts also suggest utilizing the rear view mirror to reflect light onto passing aircrafts to get their attention. (source)
5. Never leave a plastic water bottle inside your car. Under perfect conditions, the bottle can concentrate the heat in one spot and start a fire.
In 2017, Dioni Amuchastegui, an Idaho man, left a small plastic water bottle inside his car and was having lunch. As he was enjoying his sandwich, he noticed smoke coming out of the corner of his eye. The smoke was a result of light being refracted from the water bottle onto his seat, which was heating up rapidly. Under perfect conditions, plastic bottles with water in them can act as a lens that concentrates the sun’s energy on one point. Experts suggest storing clear plastic drinking bottles under the seat or away from sunlight. (source)
6. If you are next to downed power lines, never touch any object that is within close proximity with the lines. Also, while moving away from the power lines, take short steps, since taking big steps could cause an electrical charge to pass through your body.
In a situation where your car ends up colliding with a power pole, do not exit the car until the lines are de-energized. Always assume that all downed power lines are live and avoid touching the car and the ground simultaneously; if exiting the car. Downed power lines can cause up to 35 feet of the surrounding ground to become energized, so it is essential that precaution is taken until you are safely away from it. Also, the proper way to move away from a downed power line is to take small steps, keeping your feet together and on the ground at all times. This will reduce the chances of passing a strong electric current through your body. (source)
7. If you are stuck in a rip current, swim parallel to the current, instead of against it. Once out of the rip current, safely swim back to the shore.
Rip currents are more dangerous than most people imagine them to be. According to NOAA, rip currents can travel at a speed of 5 mph, which is faster than Olympic swimmers. In case you are being dragged into the sea, the first and most important thing is to remain calm since rip currents do not drag you more than 100 ft from the shore. When trapped in a rip tide or current, float on your back so you can determine the direction of the current and then swim parallel to the current instead of against it. (source)
8. If you’re being followed, never be predictable and take the usual route. Instead, mix things up and take several unpredictable turns to determine whether the person is in fact following you. If yes, then drive to the busiest place you know while simultaneously contacting the police.
Celebs are not the only ones who deal with stalkers. According to the CDC, more than 7.5 million Americans are stalked annually with 61% being female and 44% being male. From time to time, normal people get stalked too, and in a case where you feel like you are being followed, understand that it’s most likely not a coincidence. Most stalkers have the habit of learning the victim’s behavior before the stalking process takes place. So, if you are being followed, never be predictable since it will foil their plans. Always take unusual routes or turns to determine whether they are indeed following you.
Once you determine that you are being followed, drive to the busiest place you know, while simultaneously contacting authorities. Also provide authorities with details about your current location as well as the place you are driving towards. This will allow them to secure a perimeter by the time you arrive, so the culprit can be apprehended before any damage is done. (source)
9. If you have an emergency but have no service on your phone, you can still call 911. In such cases, your phone will search for the strongest available network and place the call.
If you are stuck in a situation where your cellphone carrier has no coverage but you require help, you can still place a call to emergency services. Most SIM cards are manufactured today with GSM technology, which allows you to use another service provider in the absence of network coverage from your own service provider. Therefore, in the absence of a strong network coverage of your own service provider, your phone will search for the strongest network signal available in your vicinity to place the emergency call. (source)
10. If you’re deep-frying something and a grease fire is ignited, do not use water to put out the fire. Instead, cover the flames with a metal lid or use cooking powders such as baking soda and salt.
Emergency personnels respond to at least 160,000 home structure fires annually. Of the 160,000 cooking fires, most of them start with the ignition of food or other cooking materials such as grease. In case of a grease fire, never use water to put the fire out, since it will only make it worse. Instead, turn off the heat source, cover the flames with a metal lid and deprive the fire of oxygen by using baking soda or salt. If the fire is too large to fight, leave the premises and call for help immediately. (source)
11. Always follow the rule of thirds: 3 minutes without oxygen, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food.
If you’re ever lost in the middle of nowhere, always follow the rule of thirds:
- Survive for 3 minutes without air or in icy water.
- Survive for 3 hours without shelter in a harsh environment (unless in icy water).
- Survive for 3 days without water (if sheltered from a harsh environment).
- Survive for 3 weeks without food (if you have water and shelter).
In such a case, find a place to keep yourself safe from outside elements and animals. Secondly, find a source of freshwater and food but never risk getting yourself hurt to obtain them. Getting yourself hurt reduces your chance of survival. Third of all, instead of wandering deep into the woods or desert, stay in one place and take steps to get discovered. Moving around or going further away from civilization only makes it harder for rescuers to locate you. (source)