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It’s good to be aware of your surroundings in the event that you ever leave your home, and I trust you do. The odds of you being in a life and death situation are quite low, but it’s not entirely implausible. So it’s always safe to have a few tricks up your sleeve to defend yourself in case of an emergency. But there’s a difference between being prepared and being paranoid. Learn to defend yourself but don’t be afraid to live your life.

If you ever find yourself in a life-threatening situation, remember to stay calm and keep these 16 tricks in mind.

1. Throw Away The Purse

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When mugging, thieves may point a knife or a gun against you. Rather than trying to be confident and fighting then, simply agree to their demands. Just when you’re about to hand them your wallet or your purse, throw it as far away as you possibly can. It will distract the robber and give you some seconds to run away. You can then go to a safe place and immediately contact the authorities and your bank.

If you think you can handle the pressure, you can take the mugger down while they are distracted and call the police right away.

2. Run To The Kitchen

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In case of a home invasion, the safest place in the house is the kitchen. It has all sorts of tools which can be used as potential weapons. The best part? You know where you keep your sharp knives and utensils but the housebreaker does not.

3. Remove Zip Ties

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Attackers usually use zip ties to tie their victim. They seem impossible to get out of, but that’s not true. If you leverage your body against itself, you can always get out of it. Another way is to tie your shoelace around it and use it as a saw.

4. The Kick in the Knee

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When the attacker approaches you, kick them in the knee. This kick is unblockable and the impact can make the attacker lose control and fall. You can then run away from them and go to a safe place or find a policeman.

5. The Igloo Effect

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The insulating effect of an igloo can keep you warm in case you get stuck in a blizzard. A Swedish man managed to survive two months in his car because of the igloo effect after it got buried in snow. He had a sleeping bag and warm clothes and ate snow to keep himself functional. Snowmobilers found the car which appeared to be crashed and dug through a meter of snow to find the man alive.

6. Count How Many Rows are Between You and the Exit in a Plane

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While sitting down on your seat on a plane, always count the number of rows that separate you from the nearest exit. That way, in case of a fire you will be able to stay low while making your way towards the exit by counting the rows.

7. Jewelry Can Be Used As Potential Weapon

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Wear jewelry that can hurt your attacker. Sounds odd but it works. When you strike the attacker with a sharp ring or a heavy bracelet, it can have a great impact. Poke their eye or punch the windpipe with it and then run towards safety.

8. Keep Your Hair Flowing

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If you have long hair, keep them down and flowing until you reach towards safety. Don’t make a bun or a ponytail, as they are easier for the attacker to hold you by.

9. Pull the Attacker’s Ear

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If the attacker’s ears are within your reach, grab them and pull them. They are sensitive and quite easy to grab and when pulled, can really hurt the attacker. While the attacker recovers from the shock, you can run.

10. Yell!

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Whistles are a handy tool but not as effective. Words such as “help!” or “911” or even a wild scream are much more impactful if there are people nearby.

11. Being Stuck in an Elevator

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If the attacker attacks you in an elevator, press as many buttons on the elevator as you can. It will slow down the attacker’s destination and will make it likely for the attacker to get caught.

12. Know the Pressure Points

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Be aware of the pressure points in the human body. The most common ones are the groin, eyes and the windpipe. Hitting the attacker on the pressure points will give you a great advantage. There are plenty of other pressure points located all over the body.

13. Stay Aware of Being Tailed

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If you suspect someone following you, quickly form a contingency plan. If you’re driving, drive to the police station. Call someone you trust if you have your cell phone with you and keep moving. Don’t stay alone.

14. Take Self-Defense Lessons

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Taking self-defense courses can train you better to get out of these sticky situations. They can teach you life-saving moves and make you instinctively more active.

15. Your Pants Can Be Your Lifeguard

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This is a trick U.S. Marines are taught as well. If you’re abandoned in water and have no floating device with you, use your pants to make one. Take them off, tie the open ends of the legs, then whip them with air and wrap around your neck. Keep the waist of the pants closed with your hands.

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