Depending on the temperature outside, you can last only about four days without water. To ward off dehydration, search for animals, birds (especially songbirds), insects (especially honeybees), and green vegetation, all of which can indicate that water is nearby. Rock crevices may also hold small caches of rainwater. As a last resort, try digging in dry creek beds or muddy or damp ground which may reveal hidden sources of ground water. Keep in mind that any untreated water could be contaminated. Keep an eye out for these signs of dehydration so that you know you need to find water fast.
Escape a burning building
I’ve read countless stories of people trapped in burning buildings, and the Good Samaritans (not to mention the firefighters) who rescue them. But if you find yourself eye to eye with flames or smell smoke, don’t wait for a hero. Here’s how to get out safely, from the U.S. Fire Association: Drop to your knees and crawl under the smoke to an exit. If it’s a door, feel it with the back of your hand and proceed out carefully if the surface isn’t hot. Close doors behind you to slow the fire’s spread. Meet the rest of your family at pre-planned place outside. These 10 little things can make your home a fire hazard.
Signal a rescuer
Whether they’re hopelessly lost in the desert or stranded out to sea, the subjects of many of my stories are able to attract the attention of rescuers using a reflection, a signal fire, or by making a lot of noise. To increase your chances of being discovered, go to an open area on a hilltop, then use a mirror, CD, belt buckle or water bottle to reflect light toward the pilot of an airplane or helicopter overhead. To create white smoke, which is easy for rescuers to see, add green vegetation to your fire. Another idea: create a giant X on the ground with rocks or gear. When you hear rescuers close by, clang on your camping kitchen gear or just yell.