By MH Staff - Posted on 16th September 2013
When others panic, the informed man becomes the hero. Prepare now to escape disaster later
Before you left, you emailed photographs of your passport and IDs to yourself... right? You also packed certified photocopies of your passport and visa. Then you registered yourself as an SA citizen abroad and found the contact info for all our embassies and consulates at dirco.gov.za. Good thing: now use that info to locate the nearest embassy or consulate and make an appointment to replace your passport. Don’t have internet access? Diarise the Department of International Relations and Cooperation emergency 012 329 2079.
Is that you, Mulva? Forgetting happens. Instead of asking again, coax her to tell you a story, says Josh Piven, co-author of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating and Sex (R204, kalahari.com). What was her childhood nickname? Was she named after anyone? If the answer doesn’t shed light, be creative: make up a nickname for her, or whip out your driver’s license and challenge her to show you a worse photo, says Neil Strauss, author of The Game. Or think of something cool you read recently and tell her about it. Then offer to email it to her. Her address will probably contain a clue to her name, plus – bonus, you now have a way to ask her out.
Don’t panic, and don’t try to swim to shore against the current. Instead, says Lifesaving Western Province Regional Lifesaving Co-ordinator Ed Schroeder, swim on top of the water (because the current is most forceful below the surface) and parallel to the shoreline. You’ll eventually skirt the current, which can be 10m to more than 100m wide. When you no longer feel the pull, turn toward the beach. To avoid rip currents in the future, swim near a lifeguard and scan the sea for danger signs before you jump in. These include choppy, foamy, or discoloured water, or churned-up debris or seaweed. Also avoid piers, jetties, and sandbars – common rip current spots.
Most animal-related collisions happen in remote, low-traffic areas says SANPARKS Large Mammal Ecologist Sam Ferreira. Scan roadsides between 6pm and 9pm, when buck are most active, and remember that they travel in groups. See one in your headlights? Don’t swerve. Stay in your lane and slow to a controlled stop in order to avoid hitting another car or veering off the road. If you do hit an animal, pull over to the shoulder and call the police or ranger – if you’re on an estate or in a national park. Turn on your hazard lights and stay inside the car. When it’s safe, exit your car and then take some photographs to help your insurance agent assess the damage.
First, call 10 111 or the relevant ambulance service (Netcare: 082 911, ER24: 084 124, Metro: 10 117). As you wait for help, tap your bud and shout, “Are you okay?” If he responds, move him to a safe place in case he loses consciousness again. If he doesn’t respond but is breathing, place him in the “recovery position”– on his side with his knee in front of his body so he can’t roll over. Gently put his head in a neutral position so his airway stays clear. If he’s not breathing, begin CPR or use an automatic external defibrillator. If he fell when he passed out, tell him not to move (if he’s responsive) and tell the EMTs when they arrive.