25 Dangerous Situations And How To Escape Them

Posted by , Updated on January 26, 2024

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

car in lakemylifeofcrime.wordpress.com

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.


Cramp while swimming


Who thought cramps could kill? Well, in this case they can. So first of all you need to float on your back to ensure that water doesn’t get into your lungs. Then, try to stretch your cramp by pulling your leg towards you or wait until it subsides.


Feet trapped in algae


If possible try to float on your back the same as we did for the cramp. If your head is below water then try not panic and conserve oxygen. Using your hand slide it down along your legs until you can get the algae off of you. Remember that struggling can make things a lot worse.


Choking on food


Ok, this is very survivable. First, do not run to the bathroom! If you are in public, stay in public. Yes, we know, its embarrassing, but if you pass out you want people to see you. Second, if there is no one around you need to do the heimlich maneuver on yourself. This means slamming your stomach against a solid object like a chair…hard! The goal is to get the air in your stomach to compress and force the object out of your throat. If you only compress half-way then some air may escape with the food still in there. This would make consecutive attempts much more difficult.


Falling down a mountainside


First of all, don’t reach out for anything! It could easily start a rockslide (too late? Then go back to #1). Press your chin to your chest. Your head is important and you want to make sure it stays with your body right? If possible try to use your feet as breaks, and if not, you’ll be at base camp momentarily.


Stung by jellyfish


After reading about the 25 most dangerous animals you should be aware of the dangers in being stung by one of these jellies. Get to shore immediately and spread sand over the stingers. Once it has dried out use a credit card or something similar to scrape out the stingers in one stroke. Whatever you do don’t rub them! This could cause more toxins to be released.


Attacked in elevator


Although getting attacked is never fun, it could certainly be a whole lot better than this. And ladies, this is primarily for you, because it does happen. The worst thing you can do in this situation is what your instincts tell you to do and retreat to the back of the elevator. You want to be in the corner by the door – right next to the control panel. This way you can at least have some control over where you are going. Its no fun to be caught between floors with a psychopath.


Long Fall

long fallobject.com

We’ve all done it, every time we’re on an airplane or the 19th floor of our hotel. It’s that nagging thought, “What if I fell?”. Well, don’t go headfirst just yet. As hopeless as this situation seems people have survived. The world record free fall without a parachute is 10,000 meters. There are several things you can do to increase your chances. First, assume the arch position (skydiving term, look it up). Essentially just spread yourself out as much as possible to create drag. Second, spot your landing. No joke. Concrete is a big no no. Look for water, preferably moving water. You can maneuver yourself to the right by dropping your right shoulder and vice versa. Finally, relax, bend your knees, go feet first, and try to roll. If you do all this you’ll at least maximize your chances of having a really crazy story to tell.


Caught in crossfire


Your first priority should obviously be to escape. If this is not possible and there is no cover available then lie flat on the ground with your hands over your head (we know, but at least it’s better than standing with your hands over your head). Use your judgement but you may be able to slowly crawl to safety.


Buried alive

2Alter Bridge


As unlikely as this scenario is, it’s happened before. First, as soon as you stop panicking, cover your face with your shirt because you’re about to get messy. Put your arms and feet up. Using your legs, push (duh). Your legs are always stronger. Due to the fact that you have limited oxygen you may want to do this like your life depends on it (it does). Pray that the casket is wood. If so you only have to crack it. Once this happens you’ll be glad the shirt is over your face. Dirt will start pouring in so use your feet to push it away from you to the other end of the casket. Assuming that you are not too deep this is the part where you claw your way to the surface like a zombie. And speaking of zombies, this brings us to our most dangerous situation…


Zombie Apocalypse


Unlike the other situations on our list, this one will require all of your capacities to be fully functional for an extended period of time. The best thing we can suggest? Prepare. Watch lots of movies. Zombies come in all shapes and sizes so you need to be ready for everything. And one more tip…practice. Practice what you ask? Practice acting like a zombie. If all else fails you will be glad you dedicated time to this skill.