25 Dangerous Situations And How To Escape Them

Posted by on December 9, 2011

Here at List25 we love our readers and are very adamant about their safety. Nothing would break our hearts more than having to find out that one of you drowned in an ice hole or got ripped to shreds by a pack of wild, rabid dogs. So, we came up with a solution: train you in the art of disaster survival. From the mundane to the monumental, here are 25 dangerous situations and how to escape them.




Do not try to outrun it! The avalanche is faster than you by a long shot, even on your skis. You stand a much better chance if you try to move horizontally away from it. If this is not possible then close your mouth and put your hand and arms in front of your face to create an air pocket. You’ll need it when it when the snow falls. Also, make sure you don’t scream because it will waste your oxygen. Lastly, try urinating, seriously. It will make it easier for search dogs to find you.


Stampeding crowd

Stay on your feet. Period. This is the key to survival. As soon as you get knocked down your chances decrease significantly. If this is the case, however, and you can’t get up immediately, assume a protective posture with your feet tucked up and your hands covering your head. Try to position your face in the direction the crowd is moving so you don’t get kicked and try to get back on your feet ASAP.


Dog Attack


Go for the nose. If you can’t get to the nose then kick and kick hard. The dog is almost certainly faster than you so your best bet is to fight it out.




Whatever you do, don’t struggle against it. As you can seen in the diagram most riptides lose strength eventually. As soon as you get to that point swim parallel to shore until you get away from the riptide zone (most often its only a few feet wide anyway)




Try not to steer to much. You want to ease the car onto the shoulder as carefully as possible. This is why its best to drive with two hands on the wheel and stay alert. The worst thing that can happen is to be taken by surprise and then jerk the wheel.


Nuclear Explosion

Another one of the those oh-well-it-was-a-good-life situations, this one is actually survivable assuming you are out of the blast radius. Of course it goes without saying, but if you have warning, take cover, preferably underground. If you are in an exposed area, hit the ground and cover your head as soon as you see the blast (don’t run!!) as it could take up to 30 seconds for the shockwave to reach you. Speaking of the flash, don’t look at it! It will blind you guaranteed. Once the  initial blast has occurred, flee at your own risk. Remember, there will be gridlock and depending on the direction of the wind that radiation is coming for you. If you have a good hiding spot (underground) your best bet could be to wait for a rescue.


Fell into an ice hole


Because there will probably be little for you to grab onto you will have to use your forearms to pull yourself up. If you make it out don’t stand up! Crawl to a sturdy area or back to shore.


Hostage situation

If you plan on escaping, do it quickly. Your first couple minutes are critical. There may still be people around, but be smart. If there is no chance, you could make your situation worse so it may be a good idea to stay compliant. Observe everything and try to figure out why your were abducted. This will likely help you to determine what your captors plan to do with you. Although most hostages survive, it can take years for rescue to occur. No matter what, don’t lose hope and stay mentally active. Try to constantly reassess the risks/benefits of attempting an escape.


Lightning storm


Try to find a low lying spot and squat down. You want to be as low as possible to ground with as little of your body touching as you can get away with. Now cover your ears. If you are really in the middle of a lightning storm, the thunder can rupture your eardrums.


Lost in woods


Remember Hansel and Gretel? You want to leave breadcrumbs. Break off branches and leave them on the ground so you can retrace your steps. Get to high ground first to see if you can orient yourself. Next, move downhill until you find a river or other moving body of water. Follow it downstream, they will usually lead you to a town or village. If you can’t find one then keep walking straight and use the sun to orient yourself.


Drove car into a lake


If you ever experience the misfortune of plunging your vehicle into a body of water then be aware that you have roughly 90 seconds before your cabin will be full of water. Unfortunately as soon as the bottom edge of your door is submerged it becomes impossible to open so start rolling down your windows (you’ll still have power for up to 45 seconds after hitting the water) and getting out of your seatbelt! If you can’t open the windows then try to kick them out with your feet.




The key to surviving in this situation can be summed up in 1 word – shelter. You need it. If you can’t find it try to determine the direction of the tornado, get out of your car, and run the other way! Tornados can move up to 60mph so you better move fast. If all else fails, get low, lie flat, cover your head, and hold on.


Surprised by gigantic wave

Your best bet is to try to swim over the wave before it breaks. If this is not possible though then you need to extend your arms and legs away from yourself to spread the impact and keep yourself from being thrust deep into the water. Take a deep breath and wait until the turbulence subsides. You’ll get tossed around but try to stay oriented and don’t panic. Get back to the surface quickly, breathe, and reassess the situation because you may have to repeat.


Building on fire

Its usually not the fire that kills people. Its the smoke. You have to stay low because the superheated gasses rise. Stay near a wall and follow it until you find an exit. No matter what you do, don’t breathe the gas. If you feel yourself losing conciousness though, lie as flat as possible on the ground against a wall. This will make it easier for firefighters to find you.


School Shooting

Security consultant John Nicoletti has done a lot of research on school shootings and he found 4 things that increased students’ probability of survival. As dumb as it sounds number one is get away (remember to zig zag!). Obviously this gives you best chance of making it to your next birthday but many times its not possible. Number two is barricade the door. If you create an obstacle the gunman will likely not waste his time with it. But if he gets through and you may have to resort to number three – play dead. This requires you to not panic and control your breathing! Fourth, if all else fails, capitalize on your adrenaline and fight back, you won’t feel any pain.