Would you survive in the event of an airline emergency? The answer—you’ll likely never have to. Airline safety has advanced to the point where the chances of a flight accident happening is literally an estimated one in four million. Regardless, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here’s what you can do to improve your odds of surviving in the unlikely event of an aircraft emergency.
Get medical evacuation coverage beforehand
Did you know that the “medical evacuation” mentioned in travel insurance usually only pays for transport to the nearest medical facility? True medical evacuation coverage delivers a traveller to life-saving care which may not be available at the traveller’s location. Purchasing coverage entitles you to a medical evacuation that transports you on a medical flight typically at least 100 miles or so away from your home in a hospital of your choice via the best air ambulance service available—ensuring that you’re in good hands if you end up in serious condition while overseas or on a plane.
What’s the most sensible thing to wear on a plane? Well, it’s best to dress—un-flammably. Opt to wear something made of natural materials such as wool blends or breathable cotton that have the benefit of being flame retardant. Try to dress comfortably in an outfit that allows for freedom of movement even in a reduced space. Long-sleeved tops and long pants like jeans or slacks can make for extra protection from flames and sharp objects. As for your feet, no matter how at ease you feel in a pair of flip-flops, they’ll only serve to slow you down in the chaos of a crash or evacuation. Not to mention heels—those things will have to come right off when evacuating via an emergency slide. Instead, opt for loafers, flats or sneakers.
Pay attention to the safety video/briefing/card
As dreadfully dull as they may be, it’s important to listen up and pay attention when it comes to safety guidelines—be it in the form of a video, briefing or informative card. The instructions do matter. Don’t let your inner smart-alec assume that you know it all. Even if you’re a frequent traveller and think you know it like the back of your hand, it’s crucial to keep in mind that every airplane has different safety instructions—and conditions. Everything from the location of the exits to the seat layout and even the people on the plane with you is bound to differ.
Have a run pack on you
The things a run pack should carry are the barest of essentials. In other words, it’s the belongings you really don’t want to lose in the chaos of an evacuation; for instance, your passport, wallet, ready cash, credit cards, medication, a hardcopy list of emergency contacts and your smartphone. Remember, a run kit should be ideally small enough to keep on you at all times.
In the event of an aircraft emergency
The minute the oxygen mask drops, grab it! Once a loss of cabin pressure occurs, the sharp decrease in oxygen can have you unconscious in as little as 20 seconds. Take heed of crew instructions; always make sure to secure your own mask first before reaching out to help others with theirs. How can you help others when you yourself can’t breathe? In the meantime, get your nerves in check as you try to refresh your memory of your nearest available exits and ensure that your run pack is securely on you.