Journal Series Entry #2: Sticky situations

Journal Stories: Secrets of a bored girl

Entry # 2

Emergency Survival Techniques

I recently found myself at the wrong end of an animal in a bad mood. What could I do?

Sometimes you may find yourself in a sticky situation. Not just sticky… life-threatening. Here are some basic Emergency Survival Techniques to get you out alive –courtesy of my Flowers Journal and a two-year old article I cannot find. (I really have no idea where these came from.)

Enjoy. But do not hold me accountable if you decide to use any of these techniques. I’m not Bear Grills.

Trapped in a burning building?

Cover your mouth and nose with the top of your shirt and breathe as normally as possible, slowly and with control. You’re already inhaling smoke; you don’t need to hyperventilate on it.

Smoke rises, so crouch down as low as you can. Army crawl, girls.

Stampedes of people are a common cause of injury during a fire so move to the edges of the room you’re trapped in and press yourself against the wall –as long as it’s not hot as hell to the touch.

For window escapes, sit on the ledge first to ease anxiety about the height. Push off with your hands and keep your body loose. Don’t lock your knees! Try to land on your feet, tuck and roll. (Of course this only works if you’re not on the 10th floor, but make a judgment.)

Attacked by a shark?

Prevention: Remove jewelry before hitting the water and don’t swim at sunrise or sunset (feeding times). Steer clear of areas between sandbars or steep drop offs, where waves break. Be graceful, don’t splash a lot.

Turn yourself into a human cannonball so you’re as small as possible. Hit the shark hard on the snout only once because many times will desensitize it. If it returns, use finger and fits to gouge eyes and gills (as long as it isn’t Jaws Shark size, right?).

Swim the hell away.

Lost in the wilderness?

Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back so they can worry properly.

Hang something colorful high in a tree. You may have to do some climbing for this one.

Build a fire in a spot that won’t set nearby trees ablaze. Use your matches and any paper you may have. Add green leaves when the fire gets going. Green leaves produce a thick white smoke. (Learn smoke signals?) SOS is three short, three long, three short.

Take shelter in overhanging rocks or in caves or tree wells. Keep warm by making a 3-inch hole in the bottom of a garbage bag (that you have remembered to bring on your wilderness trip). It will stretch to let air in when it is over your head, but it should keep cold air out.

If you’re in the mountains and have to spend a night, move half way up the peak. You’ll be above the cold air settled in the valley and below the ridgeline winds.

Emergency landing?

Count the number of rows between you and the door. If the cabin fills with smoke, you’ll be able to feel your way to the nearest safety exit. Read the safety information carefully.

Going down? Put both hands, palms down, one on top of the other, on the back of the seat in front of you. Rest your forehead against them. Or put your chest on your thighs and your head between your knees. Cross arms in front of your shins and grab each ankle. Keep your feet flat and slightly behind your knees.

Evacuate; carry nothing.

Remember: Emergency doors are heavy. Very very heavy.

Confronted by a vicious dog?

Don’t run! Stand still and he may lose interest? But definitely don’t run. He will chase you. You are officially food.

Put your head down and avoid eye contact. If he jumps to bite, keep your arms at your sides or folded tightly in front of your chest with fits closed to protect fingers.

If you’re knocked down, curl up into a ball and cover your neck and ears with your arms. Protect the parts of you he can actually get his teeth around.

Caught in a rip current?

Don’t swim toward shore in panic. Tread water or float on your back until you’ve calmed down. Start swimming parallel to the shoreline. When you stop feeling the current’s pull, swim in.

If the drag is very strong, let the current push you past the point where waves break and where rips usually end. Then, swim in.

Car under water?

As soon as you can, roll your windows down. The second you see the water coming or you know you’re in it, roll those windows down. All of them if possible. Keep a center punch stashed in your glove box. Use it to break a rear or side window if you cannot roll them down. Don’t break your front window. Too much glass.

Once you escape, watch which way the bubbles go and follow them up. Don’t accidentally swim down further.

If you get caught in moving flood waters, exit right away. Enter water with feet pointing downstream so you don’t bonk your head on something right away.

Those are the Emergency Survival Guidelines for situations that may never happen. But, like birth control, it’s better to be safe than pregnant… er, sorry. If you do plan on “trying” any of these at home, I hold no responsibility if they work or not. I have never jumped from a burning building and the animal I was on the wrong end of was NOT a shark.