In a time of crisis there will be people trapped or buried alive in buildings. Others may be trapped in elevators or other types of lifts. Still others may wind up trapped underground in subways, tunnels, and parking garages. Here are a few things that might save your life.
How to Signal During a Crisis
There are some vital, low tech tools you should always have on your person or around you for signaling: stick to rap on pipes with, whistle, flashlight, mirror, laser pointer, cell phone, and personal alert system.
No matter whether you are trapped, or are trying to help find others survivors, knowing how to use these signals and detect them is very important:
- Yelling is good for short distances. Be careful not to yell too loud in an unstable area or you could literally bring down the roof.
- Tapping on pipes: The sound produced can travel a good distance. You can try to use Morse Code (a system of dots and dashes) to send messages. Even though most modern rescue teams are not taught how to read or send messages in Morse Code, the more preppers keep up with it, the better chance you’ll have of sending messages to fellow preppers. If you only choose one simple code to learn; make it SOS, which is still the international call for help: …- – -… (where … means S, – – – means O, and … means S, too).
- Blowing a whistle. They can be heard at a distance and can also be used to send Morse Code.
- Use a flashlight in low light conditions to flash a signal to others. Can be used to send SOS or just flash to get attention.
- A mirror or other shiny material can also be used to flash a signal to others. In daylight the flashing of a mirror or other shiny material can be seen for miles.
- Laser pointers: At night a laser pointer is good to signal search and rescue aircraft. The air crew will be wearing night vision which can see the laser beam at a good distance and follow the beam back to its origin.
- In areas that still have electricity, flickering the overhead lights can get attention, and can be seen for miles at night. This action usually will bring aircraft or other search groups to investigate.
- Cell phones: In a time of crisis cell phones may not be working due to damaged or destroyed cell towers, they may jammed by high call volume, or you are out of range of a tower. Never give up trying, you may get through and give your location and status to the other person.
- Personal alert beacons (ex. medical alert bracelets): Activate the unit. The signal may reach a signal tower.
- Portable ham radio units: These two way radios are designed to be used in a time of crisis. Depending on what frequency and what type of antenna you are using, you can communicate with people around the world or any search or rescue headquarters in your area.
Basic Things You Should Do No Matter Where You Are Trapped
No matter whether you are trapped in your home, a high rise building, in an elevator, or underground, there are some basic things you will always need to do before trying to escape.
Following these steps can help you reach safety, and also make it possible to detect other survivors and help them escape with you.
If possible, always try to keep a small medical kit with you and a few hand tools. The medical kit can be as simple as a few pain killers, gauze for wrapping up wounds, rubbing alcohol, and small bits of wood for splints. A Swiss Army Knife will give you access to just about anything you might need to manage small problems on your own.
If you did not make it outside of the building as it was falling down, you are most likely pinned down or in a sheltered spot under the debris. Following these steps will help you gain focus and pay attention to critical aspects of the situation that might otherwise be overlooked: