Be honest with yourself…do you really know how to survive a plane crash?
There have been a lot of plane crashes lately…far more than in any other time period in our nation, I’m afraid. A large part of this uptick in accidents has to do with computer hackers getting into the airline’s system and messing with the controls.
However, plenty of other accidents have to do with a ton of other factors, such as weather and the pilot’s state of mind in the cockpit.
It’s true that about 80% of airplane crashes are survivable – so the odds are in your favor. However, can you really afford to depend on luck – especially considering how crashes seem to be increasing as of late? That’s a scary thought.
One of the best things you can do is to prepare yourself for a crash now. Whether you fly once every few years or you’re a seasoned traveler, these tips are going to help you.
When it comes right down to it, your life is in your own hands. And your actions (or inactions) will greatly determine your fate. That’s why it’s imperative to pay attention to these…
Survival Tips: How To Survive A Plane Crash
Location, Location, Location
Seems like everyone’s end goal (whether they have the money or not) is to fly first class on the airplane. People pay big bucks for these seats, and others wait endlessly on standby hoping for one of these “luxury” seats.
However, this is one of the worst sections to be sitting in during a plane crash. That’s because passengers often have to travel more than five rows to get to an emergency exit (thereby significantly increasing the passengers’ fatality rate). This is assuming that the plane does a nose dive, leaving the front doors unusable.
Instead, those at the back of the plane have the greatest likelihood of surviving, since they’re closest to the exit row at the back.
Of course, the type of crash drastically affects the factors that influence mortality rate of passengers. However, these are some good general rules to keep in mind.
Choose Flame-Resistant Clothing
You may think it doesn’t matter what you wear on a plane – that’s why you see so many people in pajamas and sweatpants in the seats next to you. However, your clothing will be a huge factor in determining your likelihood of survival.
That’s because the chances are high that part of the plane will ignite and cause a huge fire post-crash. And, when that happens, sparks will fly and likely land on your clothing.
That’s why it’s imperative to wear flame-resistant clothing – at least to the best of your ability. As Survivopedia says:
While there are flame-resistant clothes on the market, it’s not always possible to wear these, especially during business trips and all that. However, remember to avoid nylon, polyester and acrylic , as these materials are very dangerous in a fire because they melt (and burn) at relatively low temperatures, compared to other materials. That means that they will stick to your skin if heated enough, provoking horrible injuries as they burn.
Wool and cotton are way better and remember: do not wear skirts, dresses, shorts or flowing/loose fitting clothes during flight. Also, pay attention to your shoes. The best choice is to wear laced-up, comfy and sturdy leather shoes, made with solid soles and good traction. As you’ll be trying to escape from a burning plane, these details are very important.
Remember The +3/-8 Rule
Next time you’re on a flight, remember the +3/-8 rule. This means that the vast majority of airplane crashes occur during either the first three minutes of the flight, or during the last eight minutes.
Check your watch (or set an alarm on your phone) and stay alert during these periods of time. Don’t play games on your phone, don’t read a book/magazine, and don’t get distracted. By staying alert and aware during this time, you’ll be much more prepared than that guy behind you with his headphones on buried in his phone.
Listen To The Noises
You’ll find that, once people get on the plane, they tune out as many things as they can. They’ll put on headphones, listen to music, and fall asleep as quickly as possible. Or, on the other end, they’ll be so distracted by their screaming kids that they won’t pay attention to anything going on around them.
Not to mention, it’s shocking how the majority of people don’t give a hoot about the safety presentation at the beginning. You can see their eyes glazing over, and many just flat-out ignoring the fight attendants. This is probably the worst thing you can do.
Sure, distractions happen and kids are unpredictable. But, to the best of your ability, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings. Hear the “ding” of the seatbelt sign turning on? Put it on immediately, and make sure the kids do too.
Pay attention to the safety instructions, and look at the safety card in the seat pocket in front of you. You may feel awkward doing it, but you’ll be far better off in the long run.
Also, listen to the noises of the plane. Hear an unfamiliar noise, like grinding or whirring? Don’t be afraid to ask your flight attendant. These people go through extensive training, and can help explain the various noises of the plane, and the causes for each. Plus, if you pick up on a noise that isn’t normal, you may be saving all the lives on the plane by letting a flight attendant know.
Bring These Items
Airport security is becoming more strict all the time. However, there’s still items you can bring with you onboard that’ll help you survive a plane crash.
Note: TSA policies change all the time. Check your airport’s security measures (typically found on their website) before packing any of these items.
According to PrepperZine, here’s some of the best survival tools to bring with you in case of a plane crash:
- 2 Disposable Razors – You can break the plastic housing to easily get to the blades
- Scissors – But only if they are under 4 inches. The TSA says, “metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than 4 inches are allowed, but blades longer than 4 inches are prohibited.” Look for very small sets, like sewing scissors. These work well most of the time and they are all metal.
- 2 Sealed BIC lighters – They need to be sealed! And, you can’t bring a zippo lighter that has fluid.
- Cotton balls, Q-Tips, Lint – You can use these for getting the flames going.
- Large Ferro Rod with Striker Plate – It is wise to separate the striker plate & store it elsewhere.
- Magnifying Lens – I like the credit card sized lens to keep in my wallet. Simple. You can leave it in there full time.
- Very Fine Steel Wool – #000 works well. You can use the battery from some of the sources below. Read more here.
Water Bottle – It has to be empty going through the search but you can fill up after the security checkpoint.
Plastic Cover – It can be a trash bag, small tarp, or a poncho. It can be used for shelter, a solar still, or its intended use.
Cell Phone – You can make calls of course! You can also use the battery
Flash Light – Always a useful tool and gives you reason to get another light! Again, the battery is a very valuable tool when coupled with the steel wool. Best Bang for the buck? The Coast PX20 125 Lumen LED Flashlight
Paracord – You can build a shelter with the plastic & the paracord. Need inspiration?? Here are 101 Paracord Projects to help you out.
Emergency Whistle – These can be the difference between being rescued or not. Some high-end whistles are more expensive but can be heard underwater! Check out the WINDSTORM All-Weather Safety Whistle.
Rescue Mirror – You can signal your rescuers at a long distance.This Camping Mirror works well for this kind of emergency signaling.
An Emergency Blanket – These are small, light, and can keep you warm. The Original Space Brand Emergency Survival Blanket is the one to get.
Think you’re prepared for a plane crash? The sad truth is many people believe they are much more ready for this crisis than they actually are. And, as a result, they zone out during safety briefings, ignore plane noises and signals, and are caught unprepared and unaware when disaster strikes.
The passengers in this video thought they knew what they were doing on a plane, and they thought they were ready for anything. Boy, were they wrong. Watch the video below to learn from their mistakes (as well as the pilots’ wisdom) to make sure you’re fully prepared for the unthinkable next time you’re on a plane.
Remember – Prepare Now, Survive Later!