Picture this: You’re on a hike with friends when you realize you haven’t seen a trail marker in a while. You try retracing your steps, but nothing looks familiar. Even worse, you have zero cell service. Your mind starts spinning. What if you don’t find the trail? How long can you survive on half a bottle of water and the linty piece of gum in your pocket? Yup, you’re officially freaking out.
Finding yourself in a potentially life-threatening situation is definitely scary. But here’s the good news: With some planning, you can prevent many mishaps from becoming full-blown emergencies. “The keys are knowing your risks, being prepared, and feeling confident about what to do,” says Jeffrey Pellegrino, a professor of emergency management who advises the American Red Cross.
Fingers crossed, you’ll never need to put your emergency skills into action. But being ready for the worst will help you keep your cool. In fact, studies show that teens who learn how to prepare for emergencies make better decisions and feel more in control in disaster situations.
Read on to learn about the pre-emergency prep you can put into practice today. Plus, you’ll find expert advice on how to tackle some common potential emergencies.