15+ Survival Strategies for Any Situation: When Time is of the Essence

15+ Survival Strategies for Any Situation: When Time is of the Essence

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If you’ve ever been in a life-or-death situation, then you know how important it is to have a plan. While most of us hope that we never need it, many survival strategies can help keep you alive when seconds count!

This article should serve as your go-to guide. Mostly if every second counts and time is running out.

Here are 15+ survival strategies for any scenario from home accidents to natural disasters – these tips will be essential, whether or not they save your own life.

In this article:

  1. How to Survive a Falling Elevator
  2. How to Survive an Avalanche
  3. How to Survive a Tsunami
  4. How to Survive a Moose Attack
  5. What to Do in a Black Bear Attack
  6. Emergency Water Landing
  7. What to Do if You Get Caught in a Fire
  8. How to Get Out of a Rip Current
  9. How to Survive Falling Through Thin Ice
  10. What to Do if Car Breaks Down – on Railway!
  11. Car Broke Down What to Do
  12. What Happens When You Get Struck by Lightning
  13. How to Survive a Thunderstorm
  14. Electrical Safety
  15. How to Treat a Snakebite

Related: How To Have Potable Water Anywhere | Emergency Preparedness

15+ Survival Strategies When Seconds Count

How to Survive a Falling Elevator Survival Strategies

businessman falling in modern elevator | survival strategies | How to Survive a Falling Elevator

When it comes to survival strategies, jumping from a falling elevator is not the best idea. 

You might think that if you jump before the elevator hits the ground, your body will be less harmed. It’s not accurate since the metal walls of the elevator would prevent you from seeing through it. 

Furthermore, even if you manage to jump, it isn’t enough to guarantee your survival.

Merely standing and hoping for the best is never a good plan for surviving a falling elevator as well. It’s essential to know what you’re dealing with and what you need to do if a fall occurs. 

There are no good outcomes ahead! When the impact happens, a weight ten times greater than your own body will drop on your legs. What would be your survival strategy?

Your best chance for survival is to lie flat on your back. Your delicate bones would probably break. HOWEVER, it mostly depends on how high up you were when the cable broke. But it may help you avoid more substantial injuries. Or not! Nobody knows for sure.

Most people would not be able to think logically when in an emergency. However, When the elevator reaches ground level, you should put your hands over your head. Because the elevator is likely to be destroyed, keeping your head protected from debris may save your life.

How to Survive an Avalanche

A man covered with a snow avalanche stretches out his hand to help. Danger extreme concept | How to Survive an Avalanche | What to Do if Caught in an Avalanche | Survival Strategies | Spit | Saliva Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

Spit may mean the difference between life and death if caught in an avalanche.

Avalanches are rare, but they’re deadly if you don’t know what you’re doing. Every second is crucial to survival, as is remaining calm in the face of disaster. However, facing a terrifying, blinding avalanche that may cover you in snow and suffocate you isn’t easy.

What to Do if Caught in an Avalanche

At the first indication of an avalanche, thrash about as though your life depended on it – because it does. Swimming, or thrashing, may assist you in remaining atop the slide and snow by keeping you afloat and more likely to survive.

If caught in the snow, keep one arm straight above your head to protect yourself. It may help you determine up from down, which can be difficult if you’ve been tossed about and become disoriented. 

If blessed, your gloved hand would be left sticking out of the snow – it will be helpful for rescue workers to find you.

Create an air pocket in front of your face, as soon as possible, after the snow becomes too compacted. People got suffocated in avalanches. Maintaining an air pocket might allow you to survive long enough for help to arrive.

An air pocket may also provide a space for this sleight: 

  1. Make a little hole around your face.
  2. Spit in the air pocket and see where gravity carries your saliva.
  3. Then start making your way out by digging in the opposite direction.

Learn more on how to survive an avalanche here.

How to Survive a Tsunami

Photo manipulation about a tsunami going to hit a big city | How to Survive a Tsunami Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

  • A water line abnormally far from the shore is a sign of a tsunami coming.
  • If you suddenly notice the water receding quickly and unexpectedly from a beach exposing the ocean floor, warn everyone around you and get away as fast as you can.

How to Survive a Moose Attack

Male Western moose portrait | How to Survive a Moose Attack Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

  • If you’re under attack by a moose, try to hide behind a tree.
  • Hiding behind a tree will cause the moose to lose you since moose have a blind spot in their peripheral vision.

What to Do in a Black Bear Attack

black bear in the wild | What to Do in a Black Bear Attack Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

If a black bear is chasing you, don’t turn your back or try to ride. Both of these actions can make them hostile.

How to Survive a Black Bear Attack

  1. Lie flat on your stomach to protect your organs.
  2. Cross your hands behind your neck to guard your arteries to convince the bear you don’t pose any threat.
  3. Also, don’t climb a tree. A black bear does it better than you!

Emergency Water Landing

Emergency landing of the airplane on water | Emergency Water Landing Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

Emergency Landing on Water

  1. In an emergency water landing, don’t inflate your life jacket before getting out of the plane. You’ll end up not being able to move without help since you’ll float up to the cabin ceiling.
  2. Take a deep breath and swim out of the airplane taking your deflated life jacket with you.
  3. Only pull out your inflation cord when you’re out of the plane.

What to Do if You Get Caught in a Fire

Silhouette Of Person Running Out Of Fire Escape | What to Do if You Get Caught in a Fire Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

If you are in a fire, keep low to the ground.

  • The greatest threat comes not from the fire itself.
  • Smoke goes up since it’s lighter than air.

Stay as close to the floor as possible to avoid breathing the smoke.

How to Get Out of a Rip Current

warning strong current | How to Get Out of a Rip Current Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

How to Swim Out of a Rip Current

If in a rip current, don’t try to fight it and swim straight back to the shore- it will just exhaust you.

  • Try to swim parallel to the shore until you exit the current.
  • Move only toward once you’re outside the current exit.

How to Survive Falling Through Thin Ice

The man fell through the ice and tried to climb ashore | How to Survive Falling Through Thin Ice Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

If on thin ice, and there’s no one to help you:

  1. Lie down on your stomach and spread out your arms and legs.
  2. If you have ice picks, use them as a grip to get back to safety.
  3. If you don’t have ice picks, roll away in the same direction you came from to spread out the weight of your body evenly.

What to Do if Car Breaks Down on Railway

Train perspective of a car passing a railroad crossing | What to Do if Car Breaks Down – on Railway! Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

  1. Leave quickly!
  2. Run towards the oncoming train, but keep running in the same direction.
  3. Do not follow the same track as the train to avoid the debris of your late car.

Car Broke Down What to Do

The car broke down, smokes from under the hood | Car Broke Down What to Do Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

What would your survival strategy be if your car broke down miles from civilization with no phone or radio to contact for help?

A spare tire could be your lifesaver! Burning it will generate thick black smoke visible from miles away. Given the right conditions, someone will notice your SOS signal.

But remember this: Never stray far away from your car. 

Rescuers often find intact abandoned cars, while the drivers who’ve left them in search of help don’t survive.

What Happens When You Get Struck by Lightning

Night thunder lightning over the city sky view | What Happens When You Get Struck by Lightning Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

Stay away from a spot hit by lightning. There’s a thick chance of a second strike.

Do you know that the saying: Lightning does not strike the same place twice is a myth? 

  • Lightning does, in fact, and frequently, strike the same place again — especially if it’s a tall and isolated structure like the Empire State Building. Fun Fact: The Empire State Building’s antenna is struck by lightning an average of 25 times each year.

If your hair stands on end, you’re about to be struck by lightning.

  • Kneel and bend forward, but don’t lie flat on the ground. The surface of wet earth is a good electricity conductor.

How to Survive a Thunderstorm

Lightning storm over city in purple light | How to Survive a Thunderstorm Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

  • If you’re outside during a thunderstorm, don’t be a lightning rod. It might be fatal. 
  • Avoid projecting above the surrounding area. 
  • Avoid standing on a hilltop, in an open field, or along a beach.
  • If you’re swimming or near water, get out of the water and away from the coast.

Electrical Safety

Men hand showing five count | Electrical Safety Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

If you have any doubts about whether something is electric and you have to check it, use the back of your hand. 

  • Using the back of your hand to check it will allow you to snatch your hand back in case your hunch is correct.
  • But if you use your palm to touch it, the electric charge will make your hand curl into a tight fist, and you won’t be able to draw it back.

How to Treat a Snakebite

White sided Black ratsnake | How to Treat a Snakebite Survival Strategy | Survival Strategies

  1. Don’t use a tourniquet.
  2. Never use ice to treat snakebites! Ice causes the smaller blood vessels to constrict, causing significant tissue injury when combined with viper venoms. Better to let the swelling develop and focus on getting to a hospital.
  3. Don’t cut the wound or try to remove the venom.
  4. Don’t chase after the snake. Try to recall its color and form so you can describe it (to help in the treatment.)
  5. Move past the snake’s striking distance.
  6. Keep the venom from spreading. Remain calm and still. 
  7. Remove jewelry and constricting clothing before you begin to swell.
  8. Position the sting at or below the level of your heart.

So, there you have it – 15+ ways to survive when time is of the essence. While none of us hope to find ourselves in a life-or-death situation, it’s always good to be prepared. 

Check out this Video from TA Outdoors for 15 More Survival Strategies and learn 15 Wilderness Bushcraft Skills for Surviving 100 Days Alone in the Wild:


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While it’s impossible to cover every possible emergency situation, we’ve tried to provide a variety of tips and strategies for you to consider if time is of the essence. Comment below with your own tips or stories on how you’ve used these survival strategies in the past.  And don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family – let them know that they can survive anything life throws their way!

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