Could you survive in these situations?

hand rising up from water
Photo: Anton_Sokolov/iStockphoto

Your odds of being attacked by a shark, caught in an avalanche or trapped in a sinking car are low, but would you know what to do if you found yourself in such a situation? Take the quiz and see if you'd survive.

Question 1 of 18

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You're caught outside in a lightning storm with no shelter. What do you do?

If you're out in the open, look for a low-lying area and make yourself as small a target as possible. Crouch on the balls of your feet with your heels touching and head lowered. Some experts recommend placing hands on your forehead and elbows on your knees to create a path for lightning to travel through your extremities rather than through your heart.

Question 2 of 18

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great white shark about to bite
A shark has you in its mouth. What do you do?

Hit the animal and try to focus your blows on sensitive areas such as the eyes, snout and gills. While many sharks will not bite more than once, you can't rule out a second attack. Try to stop the bleeding, leave the water as quickly as possible, and seek immediate medical attention.

Question 3 of 18

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speeding car
Geoff Ruddock/flickr
You're driving, you hit the brakes, but nothing happens. What's the first thing you should do?

Whether you're driving an automatic or a manual, smoothly downshifting to a lower gear allows the engine to slow the car, and it may give you enough time to safely pull over. Be careful not to downshift too quickly, which could cause skidding.

Question 4 of 18

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You've been bitten by a snake. Which of these is something you SHOULD do?

Immobilize the bitten limb and, if possible, position yourself so the bite is below the level of your heart. Remove any restrictive jewelry in case of swelling. Don't attempt to suck out the venom, and don't apply a tourniquet unless you're knowledgable about snakebites and first aid. Seek immediate medical attention.

Question 5 of 18

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You're in a freefalling elevator. What's your best bet for survival?

Your best bet for surviving this unlikely scenario is to lie on your back on the floor and cover your face to guard against debris. Hitting the ground in this position spreads the force of impact across your body.

Question 6 of 18

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submerged vehicle
Chris Tweddle/flickr
Your car is sinking into a body of water. You unbuckle your seatbelt. What should you do next?

Opening the door will be difficult, and it'll speed up the sinking process. Instead, focus on the windows. Most vehicles have electronically controlled windows that could short circuit, so keep a tool in your car to break a window. You’ll have 30 seconds to a minute until the water rises to the windows.

Question 7 of 18

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M Glasgow/flickr
You went for a swim and now an alligator has you in its jaws. What do you do?

Resist in any way possible and try to jab it in the eye, which is the most sensitive part of its body. If the animal goes into a death roll, where it rolls over and over until its prey is dead, as a last effort you can play dead. Alligators release dead prey when they prepare to eat it.

Question 8 of 18

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Which of these can't be used to make fire?

Just as you can use a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun's rays and start fire, you can do the same with eyeglasses or ice shaped into a convex circle or a water-filled balloon.

Question 9 of 18

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avalanche sign
If you're caught in an avalanche, what should you NOT do?

If you can't get away, abandon any equipment that could drag you down and use swimming motions to get to the surface. Grab any nearby trees if you can. As the snow slows, cup your hand to your mouth to form an air pocket. If you're covered, try to thrust part of your body through the snow so rescuers can see you.

Question 10 of 18

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If a grizzly bear charges you, what should you do?

Hit the ground, protect the back of your neck with your hands, and guard your stomach by lying flat or assuming the fetal position. Play dead until the bear leaves, but stay down for at least 20 minutes. As a last resort, you can fight back by aiming hits for the nose and eyes.

Question 11 of 18

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woman eating insect
Peter Charlesworth/Getty Images
As a general rule, which of the following insects are OK to eat?

Just because an insect has a stinger doesn't necessarily mean it's unsafe to eat. Most bees and wasps are safe if you remove their stingers. However, if you're in a survival situation, stick with worms, grubs, termites and crickets, and remember it's best to cook insects before consuming them.

Question 12 of 18

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broken ice
Thomas's Pics/flickr
Which of these should you NOT do if you fall through ice?

While you'll want to drop any gear that could weigh you down, keep your winter clothes on — they can trap air, providing warmth and flotation. Turn toward the direction you fell — the ice was strong enough to hold you once — and kick your feet to get your body horizontal. Use your elbow to pull yourself out and then roll off the ice.

Question 13 of 18

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plane going down
Which of these is NOT part of the correct brace position in the event of a plane crash?

To assume the correct brace position, rest your head and chest against your legs while grasping your ankles, keeping your face in your lap. If the seats are too close together for you to place your head in your lap, rest it against the seat in front of you.

Question 14 of 18

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SOS on mountain
Which of these is NOT a recognized signal of distress?

A red flare, three fires in a triangle shape, a large letter "V," or three blasts on a whistle all signify that help is needed. SOS, the commonly used description for the international Morse Code distress signal is three dots, three dashes and three dots (· · · – – – · · ·).

Question 15 of 18

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What should you NOT do if you encounter a mountain lion?

Hold your ground and look the animal in the eye. Make yourself appear as large as possible by opening your coat, picking up small children or raising your arms. Make noise and back away slowly, but don't turn your back on the animal. If you're attacked, fight back and protect your neck and throat.

Question 16 of 18

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You're stranded in the Arctic. Which of these liquids is your best bet for survival?

If you're in arctic waters, old sea ice is your best bet. This ice is typically free of salt, and you can identify it by its blue or black tint. It has rounded corners and splinters easily while newer ice is milky or gray and difficult to break. No matter how dire your circumstances, never drink saltwater, blood, urine or alcohol.

Question 17 of 18

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Which of these can't be used to navigate in the wilderness?

Although you might have heard that moss grows on the north side of trees, that's not always the case. Here's an overview of navigating in the wild without a compass.

Question 18 of 18

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What could come in handy when facing the zombie apocalypse?

All of these would come in handy. To increase your odds of survival, check out our 10 tips for surviving a zombie outbreak.

You scored out of 18
hand rising up from water
Photo: Anton_Sokolov/iStockphoto