How to Survive a Disaster

I think we all believe that we would cope in a disaster.  Come what may, the adrenalin would kick in and we’d survive.   And yet, I remember just how frightened I became when I was actually faced with a minor incident.  How would I really cope if my ferry sank, my plane crashed or my tube carriage blew up?

This Horizon programme made me realise that there was more to surviving a disaster than meets the eye. 

Undoubtedly the most memorable bits of this programme were the interviews with the individuals that survived.  This includes the man that survived the sinking of the Estonia by climbing out of the canteen on to the hull and jumping in an upturned lifeboat.  His determination and self-confidence helped him to get off the sinking ferry and to survive the long cold hours in the life raft waiting to be rescued.  A female survivor of a plane crash explains how she lost all sense of time – just a few seconds felt like minutes as her brain went into survival mode.  The survivor of the 11/7 London bombing had some medical training. This proved vital and kicked into action, enabling her to give herself life-saving first aid.

Having watched the programme I realise that there are very simple things I can do to help me cope with a disaster, such as paying attention to where exists are on a plane or knowing where the life boats are on a boat.  By taking a minute to plan a strategy in case the plane has a problem, the hotels catches fire or the boat sinks, I’ll be ahead of the game and better able to get out intact.

Whether I’ll remember this the next time I’m jetting off on my holidays remains to be seen, however.


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What can I say....I'm addicted to TV
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