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One minute you're getting in your car to go to work, and the next you're bound and gagged in the back of a speeding van. For most people, being kidnapped or held hostage is a terrifying experience. And it happens that fast. Sometimes so fast that you can't even attempt to escape your abductor(s). Fortunately, most kidnapping victims are released unharmed, most fairly quickly. Make no mistake, though: any abduction can turn deadly, and whether the victim survives depends largely on decisions he or she makes while in captivity.
Attempt to thwart the abduction. If you can escape the initial abduction attempt, your ordeal ends right there. However, the first few minutes of a hostage-taking situation or an abduction are the most dangerous, and they become more dangerous if you resist. While in many cases, the potential for immediate escape outweighs the danger of resistance, there are times (if there are multiple armed attackers, for example) where escape is not realistic and therefore not worth the risk. Think rationally and be cooperative in this sort of situation. The first few minutes are often the best time to resist since there are probably people around you depending on where you are. If this is the case and there are others around you, this is the best time to fight back in a way that will gain others' attention and perhaps provide you with their help. After they have you where they want you (in a car or such) there will most likely be no one who can respond to your petitions for rescue.
Regain your composure. Your adrenaline will be pumping, your heart will be pounding, and you will be terrified. Calm down. The sooner you can regain your composure the better off you will be immediately and in the long run.
Be observant. Right from the start, you should try to observe and remember as much as possible in order to help you plan an escape, predict your abductor's next moves, or give information to the police to aid in a rescue or to help apprehend and convict the kidnapper. You may not be able to use your eyes--you may be blindfolded, but you can still gather information with your senses of hearing, touch, and smell.
Try to ascertain why you have been abducted. There are a variety of motivations for abduction, from sexual assault to ransom demands to political leverage. How you interact with your captors, and whether you risk an escape, should depend at least partly on your captors' motivation. If they are holding you for ransom or to negotiate the release of prisoners, you are most likely worth far more to them alive than dead. If you've been captured by a serial killer or sexual predator, however, or if you've been abducted in retaliation for some political or military action, your abductor likely intends to kill you. Your decision of whether and when to attempt an escape should be made based on this information.Keep a survival attitude. Be positive. Remember, most kidnapping victims survive--the odds are with
What would you do if a shooting happened in your own school or workplace? It is a scary thought, but it is something that could happen to anybody. Having some ideas about how to respond beforehand could save your life.
Keep alert and always report suspicious incidents to the authorities. If a student or co-worker threatens to bring a knife or a gun, for example, report this to a teacher or supervisor. You might prevent a disaster by doing so. If there are students or coworkers who lawfully carry weapons or tools, they will be able to explain this to your supervisor.
Know what the procedure is that is already in place. Many schools and workplaces have "lockdown" procedures. An example of this could be that the students hide in the corner of their classroom, out of sight of doors and windows, while the teacher locks the door and turns off the lights. If you are in the halls, you might be expected to run inside the nearest classroom. Whatever it is, know what it is, and if there is no procedure in place, talk to a teacher or boss about creating one right away.
Respond to the sound of gunshots according to your situation:
An odorless, colorless gas, carbon monoxide (CO) can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled and every year, more than 500 people die in the U. S. from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. When power outages occur during emergencies such as hurricanes or winter storms, the use of alternative sources of fuel or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking can cause carbon monoxide to build up in a home, garage, tent, or camper and it can easily poison the people and animals inside such structures.
Fortunately, you can take a number of preventive measures to minimize and remove the chances of any type of carbon monoxide poisoning after an emergency, as discussed in this article.
Be aware of where carbon monoxide might come from. Carbon monoxide is often found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by small gasoline engines, stoves and gas cookers, generators, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoal and wood. The gas may be caused to leak by rupture from movement of a building or equipment due to a storm, etc., the equipment being used may be defective, or there may be some other cause for the leakage of carbon monoxide, such as inadequate ventilation.
Carbon monoxide from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Typical spaces where problems can occur include house rooms, garages, RVs, boats, tents, campers, garden sheds, marquees, etc. People and animals situated in enclosed spaces with little or no ventilation can die from breathing carbon monoxide.
Learn the symptoms. Part of prevention is noticing when the problem might be occurring. The symptoms are not clear and can easily be confused with other illness but awareness of the possible source contributing to poisoned air (such as a gas stove in the vicinity, or a stuffy room) may help you to pinpoint the symptoms. Moreover, the more persons exhibiting the symptoms, the more you should consider the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Common symptoms include:
Protecting your family in the event of a volcanic eruption can mean the difference between life and death. More likely, it will help you protect your health and property from volcanic "ash", a mist of tiny sharp rocks that can spread for many miles. However, knowing how to prepare for a volcanic eruption can be confusing without the right information. Organizing a plan of attack is key to proper preparation, and educating everyone in your family or household will help to better ensure their safety and well being when disaster erupts.
Know beforehand where the active volcanoes are in your area. Find out whether they're likely to affect you where you're living. If so, be prepared at all times.
Put together an emergency supply kit. This kit is something that anyone living in a volcano zone should have prepared at all times. The kit should include such items as a first aid kit, food and water supplies, a mask to protect against ash such as one used when mowing lawns, a manual can opener, a flashlight with extra batteries or preferably a crank model, any necessary medications, sturdy shoes, goggles or other eye protection, and a battery-powered radio. Ensure that everyone in your family knows where the emergency supplies that you prepared are located.
Buy proper respiratory protection. Purchase an air purifying respirator, also referred to as an N-95 disposable respirator. This can be bought at your local hardware store.
Have the necessary communication devices ready. Use your radio or television at home to listen for volcano updates or evacuation notices.
Be aware of what your local disaster sirens sound like. When a volcanic eruption occurs, you'll need to listen for those to go off.
Set an emergency evacuation plan with your family. Review it in depth with them, so that each person knows what to do in the event of an eruption, how to find one another if you're apart, and how to contact neighbors and/or emergency services if you cannot get away from the property using your own transportation.
An earthquake is a very dangerous natural disaster; particularly in the Pacific Rim region.
After an earthquake, your home may be a mess and you might be left without a water supply and energy. There are several things you can do to prepare for an earthquake before it happens, to minimize the damage and potential for injury in and around your home.
Check for hazards inside your home. There are a number of specific hazards in your home that you can deal with before an earthquake occurs. Once they are properly secured, they become less of a hazard to you, your family, and your pets.
Evaluate your electrical wiring, electrical appliances, and gas connections. Do any repairs if needed. During an earthquake, faulty fittings and wiring can become a potential fire hazard. When securing appliances, be sure not to drill holes in them - use existing holes, or make loops from leather, etc., that can be glued onto an appliance.
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