7 Things You Should Know to Survive in a Critical Situation

No one wants to think about finding themselves in a dire situation. But it’s important to be prepared in the unfortunate event you do.

What’s worse—thinking about it now, being prepared, and it never happens? Or refusing to acknowledge that it could happen, and then not being prepared when it does? We think you know the answer to that.

Life can take some nasty unexpected turns sometimes, but it’s not anything that you can’t handle. Read these tips now and keep them on the back burner so that you know you can take care of anything that comes at you.

  1. If you get caught in a rip current

    Rip currents can happen in any body of water—ocean, lake, etc.—where breaking waves exist. While your first instinct if you get caught in a rip current will likely be to panic, it’s important to stay calm. Rather than swim against the current towards the shore like you might automatically think to do, the trick here is to swim diagonally or parallel to the current. That way, you’re swimming across it and not through it.

  2. If you’re stung by a jellyfish

    The shock and pain of a jellyfish sting can be unbearable enough to not be able to think straight. But give the sting a thorough cleaning to get rid of any tentacle remains— and if there are any, don’t touch the tentacles with your bare hands, as they can still sting you. Also, when washing, use salt water; fresh water can activate the stinging even more. Next, drink lots of water to flush everything out and help you recover, and see a doctor who can treat the wound.

  3. If a crocodile is chasing you

    Of course you’re just going to want to get away from that creature as fast as possible, but if you can, think logically: if you run in zigzags as the croc – or alligator, for that matter – trails behind, they’ll easily lose sight of you. Crocodiles have short legs, and with such a long body, it’s difficult for them to turn efficiently.

  4. If a dog is chasing you

    Puppies are much cuter than crocodiles, but it can be scary if a large dog you’re not familiar with is chasing you. The trick? Stop running, because the dog is likely faster than you and will catch up. Instead, lay on the ground on your back, cover your face for protection, and start kicking. And try to keep him near your feet; so if he’s going towards your head, spin your body around. Kick and yell for help.

  5. If you get a piece of glass stuck in you

    Um, ouch. This hurts. Depending on how deep it goes, it’s actually important not to try to take the shard out yourself. Once you remove it, it’ll start bleeding, and the wound will be open, which can easily cause infection. So instead of trying to take it out, call an ambulance and let the professionals do their job.

  6. If you cut your hand and don’t have a Band-Aid

    It’s easy to get a cut on anything these days, especially if you’re, say, doing work around the house. If the cut is more of an annoyance (e.g., not like having a piece of glass stuck in you, as we mentioned earlier), you can get away with using super glue, which can surprisingly disinfect the wound and pull it back together. This is just a quick fix, though, and you should still properly treat it when you can, or see a doctor if needed.

  7. If a fire erupts on a pan on the stove

    Ever heat up some oil on a frying pan and then go tend to your kid or let the dog out while it heats up? Nine times out of ten that I do this, I personally forget all about the pan and run back into the kitchen when I realize, only to see it smoking like a chimney. Some people have the more unfortunate event of having their oil catch on fire. If this ever happens to you, throw a cotton cloth over it (an old T-shirt or blanket will work too). What you shouldn’t do is pour water on it. That will just increase the flames (and splatter grease all over the place).

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like one of these? Keep these strategies in mind for the “just in case,” though we hope you never have to use them!