Recently a 7 year old girl and her family were involved in a plane crash in Kentucky. He parents, sister and cousin were all killed in the accident. Little Sailor Gutzler survived.
The crash occurred at night and Sailor was basically alone in the dark in the middle of the woods. She initially tried to light a glow stick from the fire of the plane so that she may have light to find her way to help, but it would not ignite.
In the cold with only a short sleeve shirt, shorts, and one sock, she traveled approximately a mile towards a house which had lights on. Forty minutes after air traffic control lost contact with the plane, the homeowners contacted emergency services due to Sailor explaining what had just happened.
Survival skills are a valuable resource, as you may not know when you have to use them. These skills may be needed to stay alive for a week or just long enough to keep a clear head in order to find help.
A clear head is the very first thing you must have. The late comedian George Carlin once stated we need to teach people to panic, because that is what they will do every time. How true that comment is. With practice at different survival skills, we learn how to control our panic so we can make clear decisions.
One word can set into motion a bad day instead of a last day; stop. Actually it is an acronym, S.T.O.P.
Actually (s)top when faced in an emergency situation. Stopping will allow you to gather your emotions and your mind. Deep breaths will calm you down and prevent hyperventilation which decreases the amount of oxygen getting to the brain, resulting in irrational decisions.
Next you need to (t)hink. Think about where you are and what is going on around you. Are you hurt? Are there others hurt and in need of immediate medical help?
(O)bserve your surroundings to find what can be used. What landmarks are nearby? Do you recognize anything to know your location?
(P)lan on what to do next. If darkness is coming soon, you need to find necessities quickly such as shelter and warmth. If it is cold, like the spell we are having now, you want to get a fire started and shelter up before you start losing manual dexterity due to frigid temperatures. You need to figure out what you can use for shelter and where you can place it.
A fire is an excellent signal if someone knows you are in danger. The lost communication from the plane would have caused authorities to send help to look for the plane. Without noticing the light from the house, Sailor may have been better off to stay near the crash site. However, one getting lost in the woods while hunting with no one knowing where you were hunting may require you to seek open areas in which you could signal and get noticed.
Three of anything is a signal of help. Three blasts from a firearm, three flashing signals from a flashlight, and three blows from a whistle are all common emergency signals.
But nothing beats a clear mind.