Thanks to modern safety features, it’s extremely unlikely that your elevator will enter free-fall in the event of a snapped cable. However, if you do find yourself in this position, the best position to improve your chances of survival is to lie down supine on the elevator floor and cover your head and face with your hands. This ensures that the impact is spread out across your body, rather than hitting one area in particular.
If there’s an odor of fish hanging about your home, it can be a sign of something far more sinister than decaying groceries. Electric products in your house – including wires and circuit breakers – contain bakelite, a plastic that can stink of fish or urine when it starts to melt. Check your switches and plugs for overheating, in case an electrical fire breaks out.
Man’s Best Friend
Loyal and trusty service dogs rarely leave the side of their human owners. If you are approached by a service dog with no owner in sight, you should always follow him. He has likely been trained to seek help from other humans when his owner is injured or in need of help.
Call In A Crisis
Emergency phone numbers vary from one nation to the next, but did you know there is a number that works no matter where you are? If you’re ever in trouble abroad and don’t know the local emergency number, try calling 1 1 2. This is an International Emergency Number, and it connects you to the relevant local police, ambulance or fire service. 9 1 1 is another common international emergency number across the Americas.
It’s an awesome and terrifying sight – but if you spot a tornado and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. According to Fox Weather, when a tornado appears stationary, that means it is heading straight towards you. While avoiding trees, cars and other objects that the tornado could throw about, seek shelter in a robust building or lie down in a ditch or lower area, covering your head with your hands.
Ditching A Follower
If you’re ever feeling paranoid that someone is following your vehicle deliberately, this trick helps to determine if you’re being tailed. Take four right turns, traveling fully around the block. If the vehicle you suspect is following you is still right there behind you, don’t go home. Instead, call the police and drive towards the nearest police station.
Scratching The Surface
If a stranger grabs, assaults or attacks you, provided that it’s safe to do so, dig your nails into your attacker or scratch them to collect some of their DNA. Approach the police after the attack, and they may be able to use this DNA sample to identify the attacker – especially if they are already listed on a criminal or suspect database.
Spitting through the snow
Avalanches are terrifying, as it only takes a couple of seconds to lose any sense of what is up or down. As gross as it sounds, spitting can actually save your life, as your spit will follow gravity and drop downwards, allowing you to dig the opposite way up and out.
Stay in the dark
If you wake up at night and smell gas, your first instinct is probably to turn on the light and investigate, but don’t. Even a tiny spark from a light switch could cause an explosion, so it’s safer to open a window to let the gas begin to dissipate, and get outside yourself.
Safer on land
You might have been told as a child to run for the water if you accidentally disturb a wasp, but that won’t actually keep you safe. The insect will simply wait for you to resurface before continuing its attack, so it’s more prudent to run as far as you can in one direction, as the wasp will eventually stop following.
Look but don’t touch
If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation foraging for food, stay away from brightly coloured frogs or insects. Though they might look fun and tasty, bright colours are nature’s way of encouraging predators to stay away from poisonous or toxic animals that would not be good to eat.
Just a little white eye
In the days before Facetune, everyone had to deal with red eyes in their photo albums or on their walls. The question is, did you know that pupils that reflect white and not red in photos could be a sign of cataracts, retina problems, or even eye cancer?
Naked in the Arctic
This might sound like the silliest advice out there, but it may still save your life. If you ever find yourself being chased by a polar bear, shed some clothes as you run away, as the creature will almost certainly stop to sniff and examine what you’ve left behind.
Everyone knows about the importance of watching your drink at a party, but how can you know if you’ve actually been spiked? Well, rohypnol tastes ever so slightly salty once dissolved, so if you notice your drink has a sudden salty taste, it’s safer to dump it out and get a fresh one.
Don’t be a square
Seeing square waves while hanging out at the beach? That’s not a sign to take some aesthetic pictures, but a warning to get back to shore. Square waves are created in the presence of powerful currents which could easily pull you under the water.
A twist of the knife
If you’re unlucky enough to witness or experience a stabbing, you may be tempted to remove the knife in order to properly bandage the wound, but hold off. It’s actually safer to leave the weapon in until you get to the hospital, as removal will lead to much faster blood loss.
Back away slowly
Nobody ever wants to come face to face with a big cat, but if you ever do, fight all your natural instincts and don’t turn your back. Mountain lions are ambush predators, and so won’t attack you until you’re facing away, making it safer to walk backwards while maintaining eye contact.
Don’t back down
Faced off against a pack of wolves, you’d be forgiven for choosing to scream and run, but that would be a major mistake. Known for their hierarchal nature, wolves respect strength, so if you stand your ground, stare them out and refuse to back down, they’re more likely to leave you alone.
Safety first while bowling
We’ve all been tempted to clown around at the bowling alley by sliding down the slippery ground toward the pins. This, however, is a supremely foolhardy move, as the mechanism that collects up the pins and heavy balls is powerful enough to crush whatever body part might get in its way. Best not to step over the line, then.
Anti-Freeze is not a mixer
We should hope no one in their right mind needs to be told this, but anti-freeze was not designed for human consumption. You should never, under any circumstances, drink the stuff. However, in the unlikely event that you do accidentally ingest some of the harsh blue chemical, quickly drink some vodka as this may serve as a temporary antidote to the poisonous effects. But still seek medical attention.
Bunny Hop Your Way Out
If a powerline falls next to you, do not walk or run. Put your feet together and do a bunny hop to jump and get away. This keeps electricity from traveling up one leg and out the other, which prevents you from being shocked by several thousand volts.
If you ever get carjacked and they tell you to drive, crash the car into the nearby road or intersection. Most likely they won’t be wearing their seatbelts. So when you crash the car they will get injured and you can take this chance to get out of the car and run like hell.
About To Be Struck
If your hair suddenly stands up on end, duck and cover. You’re about to be struck by lightning. This is your adrenaline and body conductivity warning you of the incoming charge.
Preventing The Puke
If you ever feel like you are going to throw up, start humming. It’s nearly impossible to gag while you are humming.
If you ever find yourself being dragged underwater by an alligator shove your fingers into its nose. This breaks the seal alligators need to keep water out of their airways and will make them release you immediately.
Fallen On To The Tracks?
If you ever fall off of the edge of the subway platform and onto the tracks don’t waste your time trying crawl back up. There is a crawl space built to go underneath in case this happens.
Do not drink the milk of brown coconuts. They contain oils that cause dehydration. So, you should drink the milk of green coconuts instead.
Avoid Driving This Time
Most drunk driving deaths occur on Saturdays between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m. Avoid roads during these times if you can help it.
Have you ever been told that if an alligator is chasing you that you should run in a zigzag? Well, contrary to popular belief, alligators actually aren’t stupid and they can run up to 35 miles per hour. So just run straight and run like hell.
Thirsty? Don’t Eat Snow
No matter how thirsty you are, do not eat large amounts of snow. Too much cold ice in your stomach can cause you to die of hypothermia. Melt the ice and then drink it.
Deer Not Moose
If a deer is running across the road it’s better to hit it, rather than swerve and run into a ditch. If there is a moose in the middle of the road swerve and run into a ditch. Hitting a moose is like running into a brick wall.
Got AA Battery?
If you’re ever in a serious situation where you have AAA batteries but desperately need AA, ball up some tin foil and put it on the negative side of each battery where it connects.
Call In Emergencies
You can always dial 911 if you have no bars because, in an emergency, your phone will connect to any nearby cell tower as long as it has a battery in it.
Sleep With Closed Doors
Always sleep with the door closed. If you leave it open, that means a fire could spread inside – and, if you’re unlucky enough for a fire to start in your room, it’ll keep that fire contained.
Jumping Out Of A Moving Car
If you ever need to escape a moving car do not jump out, put one foot down and take a step. This will significantly reduce your speed and will have a much greater chance of surviving the fall.
In The Trunk?
If you ever get stuffed in the back of a trunk disconnect the brake light wires so when the cop pulls them over you can kick the door so people know you are there.
Covering The Scent Of Poison
If your water ever smells like cinnamon, do not drink it. People often use it to cover up the scent of poison.
Stopping The Trains
Each railroad crossing has a number on it. So, if your car gets over stuck on the train track, call 911, give them this number and they’ll notify upcoming trains to stop.
Caught By An Octopus?
If you’re ever scuba diving and a giant octopus tries to grab a hold of you, do not try to prune him off. The key to survival is to get him off of one of his anchor points, like a rock or a pipe, because he can’t pull you down without using leverage from his anchor.
Look Where You Walk
Walking and using your phone both demand large amounts of cognitive effort. This is why you should never text when you are walking since you will just be putting extra effort on your brain.
Adjusting Your Mirrors Properly
Blind spots aren’t inevitable in all vehicles. By adjusting your mirrors so that you barely see the edges of your own car, you can effectively eliminate the blind spots on the sides of the vehicle. The rear-view mirror should be able to locate any car behind yours. It’s worth the few seconds it takes to adjust these when you get in the driver’s seat.
Stay Warm By Staying Dry
There’s a connection between being wet and getting cold. To ensure your body temperature doesn’t fall too quickly in cold environments, invest in clothes made of wool instead of cotton — they’ll absorb more moisture so that dampness doesn’t linger on your skin. And, of course, do your best to stay dry.
Resist Inflating Your Life Jacket
In case of a water landing, fight the impulse to inflate your life jacket immediately. The buoyancy of the jacket could make it harder for you to run inside the cabin if water rushes in. So swim to an exit, then inflate your jacket to stay afloat.
Walk Downhill When Lost
People often build societies around nearby water sources, and since water flows downhill, you’ll increase your chances of finding help if you’re able to walk downhill.
You never know when you’ll encounter something that you didn’t know you’re allergic to, especially when camping or hiking. This is why you should keep maximum-strength antihistamines in your wallet or bag when you go somewhere new.
Delaying A Heart Attack
Chewing one full-strength aspirin tablet when you feel symptoms of a heart attack can delay or prevent potentially fatal blood clots. In one study of the theory, participants who ate a 325-milligram aspirin on an empty stomach saw 50% slower platelet response in five than people who didn’t chew the aspirin. For people who swallowed the tablet whole, it took 12 minutes to achieve that effect.
The Rule Of Three
Survivalists have a shorthand for knowing their limits. People can generally go three minutes without air, three hours without shelter in extreme weather environments, three days without water, and three weeks without food.
Pot On Fire
People should never use water to put out grease fires. The water molecules sink to the bottom of the hot pan, evaporate instantly, and shoot the flames even higher. Instead, you can put an oil fire out by cutting the heat and taking away the oxygen.
Attacking An Attacker
An extremely bright flashlight could ward off a mugger just as effectively as a mace or a weapon. If you have someone approaching you that seems aggressive, in the gravest extreme, a blast of 300+ lumen to the eyes (especially at night) will give you the opportunity to get out. And suppose you misread the situation — no one is really harmed, and you can’t get in trouble for it.
Throw a drowning person a line or a float
If you see someone drowning, your natural instinct is probably to leap into the water and save them. This is a mistake, however, and is likely to lead to both of your deaths. In their panic, drowning people will thrash and flail frantically, and more often than not will drag their would-be rescuer to the depths with them. If you see someone struggling in water, throw them a rope or a floatation device, but keep your distance.
Don’t trust a wagging tail
It’s generally assumed that dogs only wag their tails when they’re happy, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Wagging just indicates excitement, and this could be associated with a range of emotion, including aggression. If a dog you don’t know approaches you, do not stroke it under any circumstances, even if it seems friendly. Canine attacks can quickly turn lethal, and – depending on where in the world you live – there could also be a serious risk of rabies.
If someone pulls a gun on you, maintain eye contact
A lot of military training is devoted to helping soldiers overcome their natural resistance to firing their weapon at another person. Despite what might be shown in movies, most people have an ingrained aversion to taking the life of another. If someone pulls a gun on you in a robbery or confrontation, maintain eye contact. This will prevent them from dehumanising you in their mind and increase their empathy, making it harder for them to pull the trigger.
In a crocodile attack, pull with all your might and stay out of the water
Unlike sharks, which will generally only bite humans out of curiosity and then swim off, crocodiles view us as prey and will hunt us the way they would any other animal. The predatory reptiles try and drown their prey by going into a death-roll, and if you find yourself in the jaws of a croc your main priority is staying out of the water at any cost. If you can’t fight the crocodile off, pull away from it with all your might.
Use the universal edibility test if you’re lost in the wild
Unless you’re trained, eating plants in the wild is like playing Russian roulette; many species contain toxins that will make you sick at best, dead at worst. Although it isn’t foolproof, the universal edibility test can decrease your chances of accidentally poisoning yourself. Start by smelling the plant; then, rub it on the inside of your elbow; if there’s no reaction after an hour, rub it on your lips; if your lips feel fine after another hour, chew the plant but spit it out before you swallow. If you still don’t notice any side effects, there’s a reasonable chance the plant is safe to eat.
Lie down in quicksand
Despite what Hollywood might have led you to believe, quicksand really isn’t that dangerous, provided you stay calm. If you accidentally wander into quicksand, all you need to do is lie back and relax. You will float on the surface, allowing someone to throw you a rope and pull you out. If that’s not an option, it’s possible to swim out, as long as you use small motions and stay horizontal.
Never get into a car in a kidnapping attempt
If someone tries to force you into a car, do not comply with them under any circumstances – even if they are armed. Fight with anything at your disposal and make as much noise as you can, but do not enter the vehicle. According to law enforcement, you’re statistically more likely to survive a bullet wound sustained resisting a kidnapping attempt than you are if you allow yourself to be taken.
Trust your gut
Fascinating research has shown that police officers are often able to tell when a suspect is about to get violent, even before they act, and firefighters can instinctually tell when a building is about to collapse. Whilst they aren’t well understood, our instincts can be incredibly powerful, and it pays to trust them. If you have a gut feeling that something is off – whether it be a person or a situation – listen to that feeling and get away as fast you can.
Place something underneath you if you have to sleep outside
If you have to sleep outside in the cold, make sure you find something to place underneath you. If you don’t, the energy from your body heat will be absorbed by the ground, dramatically increasing your risk of freezing to death. Even a layer of cardboard will work as an insulator, although ideally you’d find something more effective, like a blanket.
Water receding could mean a tsunami
One of the telltale signs that a tsunami is about to strike is the ocean dramatically receding. This often happens so fast that fish are left stranded on the beach, which distracts people from the impending disaster. If you’re at the beach and you notice water suddenly rushing back out to sea, raise the alarm and run for high ground as fast as you can.
Break car windows at the edge
If you need to break a car’s window in an emergency situation, your natural instinct will probably be to start hitting it in the centre. This is a mistake. Car windows are made out of tempered glass, meaning they are much more brittle in the corners. If you haven’t got any hard objects to hand, remove one of the headrests and use the metal pins that attach it to the seat to hit the glass.