Have you ever thought about what you should do in a building collapse? Well, I know I have, especially if you live or work on the higher floors.
Surviving A Building Collapse: The Will To Live
There are a lot of reasons one can think of as to why a building could collapse. One of the first reasons which come to mind is an earthquake. There’s terrorism, gas leaks, raging floodwaters, avalanche, and a faulty foundation just to name a few. One cannot fathom the thought of surviving under a huge pile of rubble. But here are a few tips which might just help you get out alive.
1. Be Ready
Every building has an emergency evacuation plan posted on every floor. Familiarize yourself with the procedure and identify the nearest exits. The occupants must participate or organize drills at least twice a year.
2. Have A 72-Hour Survival Kit Within Reach
When a building is about to collapse it gives little or no warning at all. That is why your survival kit must be within arm’s reach. Read this article to learn how to create your own survival kit. Rescuers might not be able to get to you right away, this is the reason why the supplies in your kit are made to sustain you for 3 days. Looking for an outdoor survival kit with the lightweight essentials you need? Check out this one.
3. Exit Immediately
If you can get out of the building in the shortest route at the shortest time possible do so. If you’re located at the first or ground floor getting out through a window may seem wise. Avoid the elevator and think twice before using the stairs if the building is shaking violently.
4. Triangle Of Life
If you are unable to exit the building, instead of sliding under a bed, table or furniture, you will have to lay in a fetal position beside it. The larger and sturdier the furniture, better it is for you. If the roof caves in, the furniture will make a void beside it. Most of the time, it creates a triangle area, thus the name.
5. Remain Calm
I know it is easier said than done but if you panic, your judgment may be clouded and you will not be able to make the right decisions at such a critical moment. Some are frozen with fear they are unable to even talk or move at all until it’s too late. If you’re in an airtight pocket and start shouting for help, you might consume the remaining oxygen and suffocate to death.
6. Assess The Situation
Once the dust has settled, try to figure out where you are in the building before you do anything. There might be water flooding in from a broken pipeline. One of the most dangerous situations you could be in is when there is live electricity. Most likely there will be total darkness. This is where your survival kit comes into play. It will have a flashlight or a headlamp (like this one). If you’re injured it also has a first aid kit.
7. Make Your Move
Sometimes it is better to wait for rescue units. Moving small rubble might cause a cave-in. If you really have to, do so with caution. Your survival kit will have a whistle which can be used to catch the attention of search and rescue teams. Most likely they also have rescue dogs to help them. If you see a light in gaps around you, try to use your flashlight and point the beam towards it. This will also catch their attention. Of course, if you still have your mobile phone with you, it will definitely help.
8. Building On Fire
If you’re trapped most likely the thick rubble will protect you from the heat. What it cannot do is to keep the smoke out. Douse a piece of cloth or shirt with water from your survival kit and cover your nose and mouth. Stay low because clear air is at the bottom while the hot air rises to the top.
Watch this video posted by Top 10s on 10 building collapses caught on camera:
Another key tip you need to be aware of regarding a building collapse is to be mentally prepared. Almost always this is what differentiates the dead from those who survive. Someone who does not just curl up and wait for their doom. If you follow these building collapse tips and be prepared mentally, you will most likely live to tell the tale. Either way, you will be able to exit the collapsed building yourself or be rescued. It’s the in between that matters the most.
A real survivalist needs a bug-out bag they can count on. Look no further.
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