A crisis can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. When caught in an emergency, some people can be overcome by fear or panic. This can make rational decisions hard. The secret to making it out of an emergency is by keeping a clear mind at all times.

Featured below are a few things to always remember when your life might be in danger.

Dialing 911 on cell phones

If you’re in an emergency situation, remember that most cell phones can dial “911” even without a service signal or a SIM card. If you’re visiting a different country and you’re not familiar with what number to dial in case of an emergency, “112” will work in most places.

When under attack, don’t be afraid to strike at vulnerable areas

If you’re under attack, don’t be afraid to hit your attacker in the groin, eyes, ears, or any other vulnerable areas of the body. Real life isn’t an action flick. Don’t aim for the torso and don’t attempt to perform karate chops or spinning drop kicks.

In a situation where someone is threatening your life, attack them in places which can cause them to be incapacitated. When your attacker is down, take the opportunity to escape. 

If you find people lying down in the middle of the road, don’t get out of your vehicle

If you’re driving down an empty road and suddenly find people lying in the middle of the street, do not get out of your vehicle. This is a common modus operandi of some criminals. If you get out of your car, some people might be hiding and waiting to mug you. Instead, call the authorities to inform them of the scene of the accident. 

Avoid the bystander effect by pointing at specific people in an emergency

When something goes awry in a public setting, don’t just yell “Someone call the police!” when addressing a crowd of onlookers. Instead, point to a specific person and expressly tell that person to contact authorities. Doing this avoids the bystander effect. 

If someone is stabbed or punctured by a sharp object, keep the penetrating object in

If someone is stabbed by a knife or a sharp object, don’t remove the object immediately. Under most circumstances, keeping the penetrating object in the wound will prevent further blood loss. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If you’re stabbed by something that might cause an infection, the penetrating object should be removed regardless.

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In case the blade was removed, cover the wound with cloth and continuously apply pressure to prevent blood loss. If the first piece of cloth gets soaked with blood, do not remove it. Instead, apply a second layer above the first. This guarantees that the clotting process isn’t interrupted. 

Learn how to perform a Heimlich maneuver on yourself

Choking occurs when something is stuck in somebody’s windpipe, preventing that person from breathing normally. A Heimlich maneuver is something you perform on someone who’s choking. When you find yourself choking but there’s no one around to help you, performing a Heimlich maneuver on yourself might be the only thing you can do to save your life.

To perform a Heimlich maneuver on yourself, you’ll first have to find a waist-high object that you can bend over. Things like stools, chairs, or tables should work. Next, make a fist just above your navel. Hold your hand over the fist and bend over the stool, chair or table. Drive your fist in a quick, j-shaped gesture into your stomach while driving your body as hard as you can into the object. Keep doing this until the foreign object is expelled from your body. 

If you’re stuck in a riptide, swim parallel to the shore

A rip tide or a rip current is a strong tidal flow of water that happens in enclosed tidal areas. Rip tides are powerful enough to drag swimmers away from a shore and can sometimes be the cause of drowning. Swimmers caught in a riptide will usually be helplessly thrown into the sea. If you’re suddenly caught in a rip tide, you’re probably going to find yourself panicking. Instead, stay calm and swim parallel to the shore to escape the current. Do not exhaust yourself trying to swim against the riptide. Take note that a rip tide will never drag you under, and instead will only push you away into the sea.

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