Although it's impossible to predict every emergency situation, knowing how to effectively respond to them can be critical in surviving them.
After a quick scroll through the comments, we realized it would be a good idea to take a deeper dive and hand-pick the ones that sounded useful.
Here's what we came up with.
Maybe it won't save your life in all situations where you could use it, but if you're starting to feel really depressed, remember HALT.
Ask yourself if you've covered those bases. Eat a good meal and drink water. Step away from a stressful situation to decompress for a bit. Phone a friend, maybe ask for them to come over. Take a nap. HALT helps me a lot with stress management. Hope it helps someone.
If you're ever stuck in quicksand, lie down. It's like floating on water, the dispersion of your weight will make you float.
Though I admit this isn't as common a problem as I was led to believe as a child.
If someone ever approaches you and tries to force you into a car, do whatever it takes to stay out of the vehicle! Your odds of ending up dead are largely increased if they manage to move you somewhere else. Fight to stay out of the vehicle like your life depends on it -- because it probably does.
My cousin is in law enforcement and always tells us if someone points a gun at you and tells you to get in the car, your odds of survival are actually higher if you risk taking the bullet!
There is a time to leave. To stop. To walk away.
It can save your life. Listen to your gut.
If you're on an airplane that crashes into water, don't inflate your life-vest until after you have swum out of the plane. If you inflate your flotation device before escaping you are much more likely to get trapped in the fuselage as water levels inside the plane rise and you get pushed towards the ceiling.
Find your life jacket, get out of the plane, then inflate it.
Some winter advice. If you are homeless, or for whatever reason have to sleep outside, find something to put between you and the ground. Cardboard works great but find something. All your energy will not warm the Earth and many people have frozen this way as the ground absorbs more and more energy.
There is a cycle of violence when it comes to domestics. It starts with a build-up, where tension and aggression are escalating. This moves to an explosion, where the abuser releases tension. Following this, there will be remorse and pursuit. The abuser will start to tell. You how sorry they are, then start to try and charm you. This is where they blame something for their anger (usually you) and try to win you back. Once they have won you over, you will experience a short honeymoon stage, where they are on their best behavior. After this, is again the build-up.
The cycle just continues. It can end with you being killed. If this is happening to you, please do some reading (if it's safe). Seek some help through your friends or family (an abuser is likely to have isolated you, but they do still care and will help). If you are being abused, there are people and services that can help. You may not feel like it, but you are worth something, and you are much better than they are making you feel. Get out before it gets worse.
That a wagging tail does NOT always mean that the dog is friendly.
If you're near the ocean and all that water suddenly dissappears/recedes unexpectedly then get out of there and get to high ground because that's a tsunami.
If you or someone else is having a heart attack, take aspirin. Chew it tho, don’t swallow it whole.
Also, when performing CPR, people don’t usually come back to life like in the movies. If done correctly, CPR can keep people alive for hours, so keep going until help arrives
If there's heavy bleeding or a partial/full amputation throw a f**king tourniquet on that limb as close to the torso as you can. Write the time on their forehead and DO NOT EVER LOOSEN IT. Everything you've been taught about tourniquets is wrong. They can be on for 6 hours with no worry of nerve damage, the limb will not need to be amputated, I say again, THE PLACEMENT OF A CAT-T WILL NOT DECIDE AMPUTATION. Crank that s**t harder than you think necessary and then let the doctor deal with it.
1: Major arteries are closer to the skin near the torso, giving you a better chance of clamping them.
2: It will stop any secondary wounds you potentially missed.
3: My training was for combat trauma / triage first, I then got civilian training later. I was never a practicing civilian EMT. If a paramedic has better info please PM me any inconsistencies and Ill correct them.
4: It looks like there's many different standards for potential nerve damage time limits, the lowest I've seen is 3 from someone claiming to work in Orthopedic surgery. Either way, having a derpy limb is better than no limb.
How to recognise when someone is drowning:
Silence - while someone who is shouting is on the verge of drowning (and will likely need rescuing), it's the person thrashing about in the water not making any vocal sounds you need to worry about.
When someone is actually drowning, their lungs are filling up with water inhibiting their inability to call for help.
Hairy face - anyone who has long hair knows that when it gets wet and it sticks to your face, the immediate reaction is to swipe it away. Not for a drowning person
When someone is actually drowning, all power is devoted to saving themselves. The issue of wet hair across the face is not a priority. Keep an eye out for someone in the water splashing about but not immediately reaching to remove their hair from their eyes.
Don't be silent for extended periods of time if you are hiking in the wilderness. Contrary to popular belief, bears would prefer to not get into confrontations and would most likely avoid you if you notify them of your presence in the area.
With that said, if you do stumble across a bear, don't run away. Contrary to their size, bears are f**king fast.
Grizzly bears are brown and have a trademark hump of muscle on their back. They are aggressive. Your best bet is to get into the fetal position (covering neck and stomach) and play dead. They will only leave once they are absolutely sure the threat is gone, so don't stop playing dead even after you sense the bear leave.
Black bears, contrary to their name, come in various colors, including Brown. They are more slender than grizzly bears. Your best bet with a black bear is to be as aggressive as possible, making as much noise, looking as big as possible, throwing stones and large sticks, etc. Don't bother to climb a tree, since they are excellent climbers.
In the event a bear starts attacking, go HAM. Punch it, kick it, try to gouge out its eyes, etc.
If you happened to be in the Arctic and stumble upon a polar bear, then pray to the Almighty that it hits one of your vital points and kills you quickly, because there is practically nothing you can do against them. They are much bigger than both black and grizzly bears, and do not fear humans.
If someone points a gun at you, maintain eye contact with the person.
Eye contact makes it harder to pull the trigger.
If your car's accelerator pedal gets stuck or something else is causing unintended acceleration. Put it in neutral.
It sounds obvious but it's hard to remember when it happens and it won't be instinct. Turning the key off works but could cause the steering to lock or loss of breaks.
If you get lost in the woods, stay where you are! The chances of finding the way out on your own are pretty slim and you’re just creating a larger search area for SAR.
Also, tell people exactly where you’re going and when you’ll be home. If you’re not home by X time, instruct someone to call for help.
SLEEP WITH THE DOOR CLOSED. Fires, while you sleep, can leave your room almost completely untouched if closed.
In the event you need to break a car door window don't try to smash the window dead center. Car door windows should be tempered glass which is much more brittle along their edges so strike there instead.
If a guard dog comes at you, look to one side and slowly turn around. Then walk away.
If a dog hunts you, scream before it reaches you and fight if it didn't scare.
The first has saved me from two rottweilers once.
Chemical burns are not like fire or heat burns.
Many will not immediately trigger a reflex action of pain.
I lost a chunk of skin under my armpit because an industrial cleaner dripped under my rain suit. I had rinsed off my arm and didn't receive so much redness, but 30 minutes later I noticed my shirt was soaked in blood. No pain till the next day and by then a quarter size piece of skin had fallen off.
Read the labels and remove any chemical as quickly as possible using the recommended method. Water is not always the best way.
F.A.S.T. which is a way to help you detect the early signs of a stroke on yourself or others
FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
If an armed person tries to rob you, give them your money, phone, whatever. In fact, take it out slowly and carefully, drop it, and back away. Then, if you can run. If they try to force you to go with them, put up a massive fight and yell fire fire fire.
People will generally run to help fight a fire. They are not so keen to intervene when you are shouting murder.
NEVER go to the secondary location with a robber. That is where you get murdered or raped, or both.
If your car is skidding on an icy or wet road, steer in the direction of the skid rather than against it. You have a better chance of regaining control of the car and you avoid the risk of flipping your car over.
Most importantly do not slam the brakes.
911 is not the emergency number in most countries. Find out what the emergency number is in whichever country you’re planning to visit.
Former 911 operator here. DON'T FEEL BAD ABOUT CALLING 911! Unless it's very stupid like McDonald's screwed up your order. If it's not an emergency, they'll tell you to call non-emerg. An emergency is not just a violent crime, it's a crime or potential crime in progress, an issue affecting safety (or medical emergency or fire department issue too)
Also, teach your non-English speaking family the word for their language in English in case they need to call 911.
If you're ever in a situation where your partner chokes you, get out of there as soon as you safely can. This is the number one indicator that they will in fact kill you.
"flammable" and "inflammable" mean the same thing!!!!
Flammable things burn very easily, like a candle wick. Inflammable things need not be easy to ignite, like magnesium, but once ignited, will burn rapidly.
Purple flags at the beach mean dangerous sea life in the area. Most people understand the other flags, but purple can be confusing.
Most drunk driving deaths occur on Saturday night between 1 and 3 am. Avoid the roads during these times if you can help it.