It is never too awful hard to find oneself in quite the sticky situation, especially after the big S has hit the metaphorical fan! In the paragraphs to come, we will discuss four different could-be everyday instances where escape is the only option for survival.
Common scenarios and proper escape tactics
1. Escape a Sinking Car:
Any number of things could cause the vehicle you are using for transportation to veer off the graciousness of dry, hard land and into a seemingly abyss of water. In fact, after a bit of research, you (much like I was) will be completely astonished at how often this sort of event actually occurs. And to be honest, it doesn’t even take a very large body of water to cause you to drown in your vehicle.
In many cases, the victims of a sinking car were plummeted into small farm ponds, no deeper than ten to twelve feet.
The absolute, number one thing to NOT do in the beginning and throughout the scenario is to panic. Most of the many deaths in America that occur during the sinking of a car are brought on as a result of panic. Losing the ability to think straight can only bring on more panic and not to mention waste what energy you may have had in the first place.
Having a plan and understanding what exactly is happening to the car under the water is critical to your survival. By adopting a brace position to survive the impact, acting decisively when the car ends up in the water, and getting out fast, being trapped in a sinking vehicle is survivable, even if it’s a flooded river or a choppy bay.
- At first, as in any other sort of emergency, the first and most tempting thing to do is to dial those emergency professionals who get you out of everything else: 911. Don’t. Time is extremely crucial at this point. In many cases, victims of this sort of accident died simply because they attempted to use their cell phones, therefore wasting that very short survival period; a matter of seconds.
- The immediate thing to do (other than keeping your cool, of course) is to unbuckle your seatbelt. Locate the door handle and unlock the door.
- The first 30 to 120 seconds are most significant to your survival. Your car will more than likely float for at least 30 seconds and it is during this time that you must get try to get yourself out of the vehicle (after that, water pressure will force the window against the frame of the door, and it will not roll down). Believe it or not, this is actually plenty of time, even if you have passengers (given that they are not badly injured from any sort of accident that may have caused the plummet). At this point, try to roll down the window(s) and escape through the hole.
- A tool to break a window, cut a seatbelt, etc. is extremely beneficial to carry in your car, perhaps under your front seat or in the dash.
- Get any children out first and foremost. Small children are going to have a harder time getting through the rush of water from the open window, so it may be necessary to assist in pushing them through and out to safety.
- Now your turn! Get out as fast as possible!
2. Escape Quicksand:
You are trying to live, shtf and you have found yourself out in the middle of Timbuktu…You find a muddy, mostly dried pond and decide to do some food hunting. As you scour the area, thinking soley about how hungry you are, you suddenly step off into some thick, mucky brown stuff. You quickly realize that this isn’t the typical mud hole you and piggies played in back at home…
Obviously Hollywood loves to embellish things, and quicksand does not escape that declaration. However, quicksand is not nearly as dangerous and deadly as it is so often made out to be.
While it doesn’t necessarily suck you under and into a murky tunnel of death and doom, it can be extremely dangerous, especially if you decide to go on a manic panic spree while marooned in its thick, cement-like mixture. In fact, it really isn’t even that difficult to escape from; if, of course, you don’t find yourself in a panic.
- Toss any gear you are wearing or carrying over to solid ground. The less weight, the better.
- Move horizontally. Once you immediately begin to feel your feet getting stuck, quickly take a few steps backward (back toward the firm ground you had just stepped from. The quicksand will typically take a minute to liquify, then turn to a cement-like substance that “holds” you there in place. A quicksand pit is not, on average, deeper than the chest.
- Sit down and lean back if your feet are stuck fast. Creating a larger “footprint” should free your feet by removing the pressure they create, allowing them to float. When you feel them start to come free, roll to your side away from the quicksand and free of its grip. You are actually able to float better in quicksand as it is even denser than water.
- Try to roll onto your back and sort of “swim.” If you sink up to your hips or higher, bend backward. The more you distribute your weight, the harder it will be to sink. Float on your back while you slowly and carefully free your legs. Once your legs are out of the suction, you can gradually make your way to safety by slowly and smoothly propelling yourself backward with your arms in sweeping motions. When you get near the edge of the quicksand, you grab hold to solid ground.
- Carrying a walking stick, as we should all know, has more than just one purpose. As soon as you feel your ankles sink into some quicksand, lay the pole on the surface of the quicksand horizontally behind you. Flop onto your back on top of the pole. After a moment, you will begin to balance, and you’ll stop sinking. Move the pole under your hips. The pole will now stop your hips from sinking and you can slowly pull one leg free, then the other. Now simply use the pole to guide yourself to firm ground.
- Be sure to stop again and again and take small breaks. The work it takes to escape the clutches of quicksand will quickly exhaust you. Take short, fast breaks, however, because you do need to work sensibly and quick. Stay too long and you risk the pressure of the sand cutting off the blood flow to your emerged body parts.
Contra to mainstream movies and television, it is very rare for a quicksand fatality to occur from being “sucked under”. Deaths actually take place from exposure or drowning in the incoming tides.
3. Escape a Downed Powerline:
In point of fact, it is not that rare an occasion that one finds themselves faced with the hindrance of a downed power line. This can come from any number of things, the top of the list being car accidents and natural disasters. That’s right my prepared friends, not all survival situations originate from grid failures and the economy collapses.
High voltage power lines (which, by the way, seem to litter every street, highway, suburb, urban road, sidewalk and yard with their gaudy presence) carry high power from the plants that produce and transformers that produce them to their customers (us). As difficult as they seem when they go up and when we focus on their absurd pathways and configurations, they can come crashing down at a fraction of the time.
If you ever do happen to be in a vehicle when the lines come unattached, you are much safer if you simply remain in the grounded car than being afoot. If the wire happens to fall directly onto your car, don’t touch anything and remain that way until help arrives.
- Always assume that all power lines are live and direct. Never assume that one is not simply because it is not sparking, flaming or burning in a bright blaze.
- If afoot, stay as far away as possible from the downed lines. It is amazing, but current can actually travel through any sort of conductive material. This could even be a little bit of surface water on the ground acting as a “channel” from the power line to your body! Some particles can become charged near the high-voltage line, and those alone can give you an electrical shock. It is not necessary to have direct contact for electrocution to occur.
- It is contrary to your health to surmise that a non-sparking wire is safe to be around. In many cases, power may be recovered by an automated system, bringing that “dead” wire back to life quickly and with a mighty vengeance. Whether you know the lines that are down are electric or not, steer clear.
- If a person happens to be touched by a live wire, use a nonconducting object, such as a broom handle, wooden chair, or dry towel to detach the person from the electrical source. Do not touch the person before he or she is disconnected or you will risk being shocked yourself.
4. Escape a Rip Current:
Riptide, rip current, both mean the exact same thing in our English vernacular (that is, unless you are a “professional”, then you’d probably prefer the term rip current). This is because a riptide actually has nothing to do with the tides themselves.
With the summer months commencing as fast as time goes, this is a topic of mighty importance!
Rip currents occur when water rushes through a low point in a sandbar. Since waves keep propelling more water into the depression between the sandbar and the beach, the rip current may continue for several minutes, or even several hours.
Related reading: How To Survive the Rising Waters of a Flood
The strongest part of the rip current, in most cases, is the direct line between the water’s edge and the sandbar opening. The current will also pull in water from either side of the depression, causing you to feel pulled parallel to the beach before being sucked outward to sea.
- Exit shallow water immediately if you begin to recognize a rip current in progress. Once you are chest deep, a rip current becomes harder to escape with any sort of ease.
- As per usual, stamp out any panic and do your best to remain entirely calm. The rip current is not going to drag you under the water (though, it may feel that way when waves are pummeling you), it only pulls you straight out to sea. Panicking will only cause you to exhaust yourself, which is in fact what causes most rip current casualties.
- If you are a poor swimmer, do not try to brave it, call for help promptly.
- Swim parallel to the shore. Most rip currents take up less than 30 feet (though they can reach sizes far bigger). The rip current will carry you further from shore, but you must not panic. While attempting to swim parallel to the shore, look for the closing waves breaking, these will indicate the edge of the rip current.
- Much like the quicksand issue, conserve much energy when necessary, taking minor breaks to breathe and reset your survival mode.
- Once you have escaped the rip current itself, swim diagonally to shore and away from the rip current. This will help to prevent you from being sucked right back into the hell you just escaped.
When all is said and done…
It is a known fact for us preppers that we must do all that we can do to be ready for any sort of disaster, and that includes the ones that we keep in the back of our thoughts or don’t think of at all.
In this crazy world, it is of great weight to be ready for any and all things possible!
Stay safe out there preppers, and stay intellectually equipped!
This article has been written by Jonathan Blaylock for Prepper’s Will.