17 Tips That May Save Your Life

1. If you’re being tied up, puff yourself out as much as possible so it’ll be easier to wiggle out of. Tense muscles, inhale deep and stretch out your arms and legs to make more space.

2. If you think you’re being followed, turn right four times. Since you’ll get to the same place, they shouldn’t be following you anymore. If they do, you might be in trouble. Since it’s a common warning that you shouldn’t go home when you think someone is following you, the smartest is to go to a police station.

3. Unlike in movies, when someone is drowning, they rarely cry out, can’t wave their arms around, and will often just bob/sink at the surface for a very little while, often gasping, before submerging. Don’t expect it to look like the movies when you’re keeping an eye on swimmers.

4. If you’re performing CPR on someone who’s stopped breathing/heart has stopped, don’t stop until EMTs take the body away. You’re not forcing life into them; you’re preserving a corpse to keep a ‘revivable’ state.

5. If you ever encounter lions in the wild, DON’T RUN. Either back away slowly without losing sight of them, or stand your ground, shout and clap as loudly as you can.

6. If you see someone wearing a motorcycle helmet have an accident, DO NOT pull their helmet off for any reason. By all means, loosen the chin strap, but leave the helmet on and let the paramedics or doctors deal with it. You don’t know what that helmet is holding together.

7. If you see the bright flash associated with a nuclear explosion: Lay face down on the ground and put your thumbs in your ears and fingers over your eyes. Breathe through your teeth. Since you’re laying face down the shockwave will mostly pass over you. (If you’re standing up it can cause your lungs, eardrums, and other organs to explode.) Once the shockwave passes over you, you need to find shelter immediately and stay sheltered under as much concrete and steel as possible for 48 hours—this is critical.

8. If you get caught up in an undercurrent and notice you’re getting dragged slowly out to sea, do not swim directly toward shore. Swim parallel to the shore until you don’t feel yourself being pulled out, then swim directly toward the shore.

9. If a service dog comes to you for attention, immediately locate their owner. They could be using a last-ditch effort to get help.

10. If someone is choking, but they are coughing/talking, DO NOT INTERVENE. Let them cough it out. The ability to cough is a sign that air is able to get in and out and that they only have a partial obstruction in their airway. If you try to intervene with the Heimlich or back blows, you could force it out, or you could dislodge the blockage and cause a full obstruction.

11. Do not pull objects (knife, glass, splinter, etc.) from a deep wound. They might be sealing or slowing flow from an artery, or they might cut an artery when you pull them out. Put pressure around such an object to slow the bleeding until emergency responders take over.

12. Embassies/consulates have emergency numbers they answer 24 hours a day. Save (on your phone) the phone number of your nearest embassy/consulate when abroad. If you get in many kinds of trouble (with the police, other legal issues, medical stuff, if you’re a victim of a crime, lost your passport, etc.), they can help you much more effectively than your family/friends back home can.

13. When you’re making a turn across oncoming traffic, keep your wheels pointing straight ahead until the opportunity comes for you to make the turn. If your wheels are facing into the turn and someone hits you from behind, they will push you into the oncoming traffic and dead you will go.

14. Look behind you every so often when you’re hiking. If you think you’re being watched, chances are you probably are, and have been for quite a while. Bring a mirror as well. If you turn around you ruin the element of surprise for any hungry predators, and they’ll likely scurry away or at least give you time to escape. If you turn around and DO see something, start making as much noise as you can, don’t stay quiet, and do not, for the love of God, turn back around if you think it’s gone.

15. Start timing it, move things out my way and ring an ambulance. When someone comes round from a seizure, they are usually confused and dazed. They may have memory loss and not be sure where they are or who you are. It’s OK to say, “You had a seizure, but everything is OK. I’m such and such, your friend/husband/random stranger, and you’re here at X place.”

16. If you work around stuff that can cut someone easy (metal scrap, sheet metal or really any factory or construction work) wear a belt. I don’t care if don’t need one to hold your pants up. A belt can be a quick, easy tourniquet and save a life.

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