Imagine one day you wake up and realize that you have been buried alive or locked in a car by a kidnapper. Luckily these are things that normally only happen in our worst nightmares. But there is still the possibility that you might face a life-threatening situation today and, so far, humans have turned out to fall short in effectively fighting these threats. It is clear that some expert advice is needed to figure out how to cope with the most extreme situations.

We suggest that you just keep calm and follow these simple tricks laid out for you by the Bright Side team.

1. What to do if you’re stuck in a falling elevator

The best way to survive in a falling elevator is to lie down on your back. The muscles and fat in your body are compressible and they will help to absorb the G forces of the impact. If this is not possible, then sitting is still better than standing, because your buttocks will serve as a natural safety cushion. In any case, make sure you cover your head by putting one arm on the back of your neck and the other in front of your face.

2. How to protect yourself from an attack from behind

One of the most effective techniques to save yourself when being attacked on the street (especially for a woman wearing heels) is the foot stomp. You simply stomp, with all your strength, on the top of their foot. Doing this could break several of their foot bones, making it difficult for your attacker to pursue you.

3. How to survive a fall from a cliff

Try to break the way down into multiple parts. It’s like dividing the fall into a few shorter falls. Every segment will absorb some of the impact of your fall. This gives you a much better chance of surviving. If you can manage to grab a large object, like a plank or a piece of wood, you’ll greatly increase your chances of survival, because you can use this to break your fall when hitting the ground.

4. Find your way out safely in case of a fire

When you find yourself in a building on fire, remember that the smoke is most life-threatening element at that moment. Smoke tends to rise up to the ceiling, so you have to stay low and crawl to an exit to avoid smoke inhalation. If you have a handkerchief available, put this against your mouth. It will work as an extra filter against the smoke.

5. Survive a fall through ice

When you find yourself in freezing water, it is very important to get out as quickly as possible to avoid the serious effects of hypothermia. When you get to the edge of the ice, don’t try to pull yourself out of the water. You should kick your legs and then pull your way out horizontally, like a seal getting out of the water onto the ice. Once back onto the ice, resist the temptation to stand up. You want to remain spread out on the frozen surface so that your weight is distributed across a larger area and you won’t fall through the ice again.

6. Easily get out of quicksand

First of all, make sure your head and arms stay above the surface at all times and remain calm. The next step is to free your legs. Bit by bit, wiggle your legs slightly and allow a moment for the quicksand to fill the space they once occupied. Once possible, stretch out on your back to increase your surface area and wait until your legs pop free from making small movements. It can also help to make a backstroke motion with your arms in this moment, to help pull out your legs.

7. Protect yourself from lighting strikes when you’re in an open field

If there is no building or vehicle close by that you can hide in, your last resort should be to squat down or kneel with your head between your knees and your ears covered with your hands. If there is another taller object in your area, make sure you position yourself around twice the height of the object away from it. This also applies to other people. So, if you are in a bigger group, it’s better to spread out until the thunder and lightning are over.

8. How to signal for distress from the trunk of a car

If you find yourself locked in the trunk of a car, there is a way that you can send an SOS signal to people nearby. The first thing you have to do is locate the wires for one of the taillights. There are usually 2 or more wires going to each light. Cut one of these wires with something sharp in the trunk. When you put the ends back together, the light will flash.

9. What to do if you’re caught in an avalanche

When being dragged down by an avalanche you can try to stay on top of it by making a swimming motion with your body. When the snow mass slows down, try to push yourself toward the surface, and then stick one arm up toward the surface. This will help other people find you more easily. With the other hand, make an air pocket in front of your face. Breath slowly to save the air you have there for as long as possible.

10. What to do when you encounter a whirlpool in the sea

If you’re at sea and see a whirlpool coming closer, stay calm. You can easily avoid it by performing the correct actions. If you can recognize which way it is spinning, you can ride the side of it and use its current to sling shot you right on by. If you fight the whirlpools’ current, you’ll get sucked into it. It’s also important to remember that a whirlpool can settle out as it moves downstream. Take a deep breath and wait until you have the opportunity to swim away and up.

11. How to extinguish fire in a pan

Do not try to put out this fire with water and also don’t move the pan outside. Both of these things will only make the situation worse. The best way to put out these types of fires is to take away their source of oxygen. Stay relaxed and cover the flames with a metal lid in a smooth but calm motion. Always keep the lid between yourself and the fire, to protect yourself from the flames.

12. Where to hide in case of a tornado

In case you are too far away from any shelter or you have no basement and the tornado is closing in, a bathtub can be a safe place to find shelter at home. If possible, find a pillow to cover your head from any debris that might fall down. It is said that the plumbing in the walls adds some structural strength to the room, which can be beneficial. Important side note: If your bathroom or bathtub is on an exterior facing wall or near windows, it’s better to leave it for a more secure space like your closet. It is best to have as many walls between you and the tornado as possible.

13. How to survive in a panicked crowd

It is always hard to move in a panicked crowd. What you have to do is stay calm and create a little space around yourself. The best way to do this is to shorten your arms and keep your hands up by your chest, like a boxer — this gives you movement and protects your vital organs.

14. What to do when you’re choking and are all alone

Normally, when a person is choking, the first aid procedure is to perform the Heimlich maneuver. If you are alone, you can try to take the item in your throat out by performing this grip on yourself. Make a fist with one hand, and place the thumb of that hand below your rib cage and above your navel. Grasp your fist with your other hand and lean over a chair or table edge. Then press into the upper abdominal area with a quick upward movement.

15. What to do if you’re buried alive

One of the first challenges you have is to conserve your air supply and protect your ability to breathe. What you can do is take off your shirt and tie the bottom of the shirt in a knot. Pull it back over your head through the neck hole so that the knot is on the top of your head. This way you create a hood that will protect your face from dirt and that will give you some kind of air supply during your attempt to crawl up from the grave.

What is the worst scenario you have ever found yourself in? Can you enlighten us with your tips for how to get out of it?