Do we know what to do in an emergency? We’re often told to phone the police and let them take care of matters. Sometimes, we’re told to ‘drop and roll’ or simply ‘just keep swimming’.
What happens if the emergency we’re facing is against mother nature herself. Would we know what to do?
We outline some of the warning signs to look out for every day to make sure you know what to do if disaster strikes. These might just save your life.
Avoid J-Shaped Trees
A walk in the park can be a beautiful thing. You can surround yourself with plants and animals and get a breath of some of the freshest air out there. But look out for J-shaped trees.
These trees grow to avoid the chaos of a landslide – and you might not be too far from one yourself. Landslides generally occur on steep slopes, so you will want to be careful either way. Next time you’re on a hike, try to avoid the steep hills with these trees.
Watch For Dropping Ocean Levels
If you ever find yourself walking along the beach in the Ring of Fire (the Pacific Ocean), you might want to keep an eye out on the coastal line. If the water level starts receding and coral and fish appear on the beach, then get out of there.
Most likely, a tsunami is on the way. Tsunamis cause devastating damage to everything they touch and you’ll want to far away from them! At their peak, they can arrive on the coasts at 500 miles an hour.
Look At The Clouds In The Sky
We all love looking at the clouds and finding shapes that can tickle our imagination. However, if you find yourself staring at large, wall clouds, you might want to run for shelter as soon as possible.
These wall clouds are generally lower than other clouds and can reach five miles long. They can turn into tornadoes and cause damage wherever they go. You won’t want to be trapped in one of these, so get shelter!
Watch For Choppy Waters At The Beach
If you see a channel of choppy waters on the beach, it’s likely that there is a deadly rip current under the surface. Vance Joy may have romanticized riptides when he released his 2013 single, but these rip currents can be incredibly dangerous.
Each year, 100 people in the US die by getting trapped in rip currents and are the leading cause of lifeguard rescues. If you get caught in one, swim parallel to the beach to escape it and then swim back to the shore.
Follow The Animals
Ever since 373 BC Greece, people have claimed that animals such as snakes, rats, and insects leave their homes days before large earthquakes trembles through the land. There isn’t any science that backs these claims up, but people noticed the habits.
Scientists don’t know what the animals are identifying — if they are really sensing or ‘feeling’ anything. It’s also pretty hard to analyze their behavior just before an earthquake. While these few seconds are a nice warning, it’s not enough to get us out to safety in time.
If Animals Run Toward You, Look Out For Fire
As well as listening to the animals, you might want to follow them. If you see birds and mammals flying and moving toward you, there could be a wildfire behind them. Some creatures, like amphibians, stay in the fire – digging underground to escape it.
However, others will run as fast as they can away from it. Of course, if you see smoke, that’s also a pretty good indicator of wildfire. There’s no smoke without fire, as they say.
Look Out For Hair-Raising Experiences
Lightning strikes may seem like one of the rarer natural threats, but actually more people die each year from lightning than from shark attacks. While the annual deaths have been decreasing considerably since the 1940s, it’s only because people are more aware of the danger.
So if your hair starts rising on your head and your jewelry starts tingling, lightning is probably about to hit very nearby. If this happens, seek shelter immediately until it passes.
Sharks Swim Away From Hurricanes
If you ever find yourself out in the ocean and you see a gam of sharks swimming deeper and deeper in the water, it’s possible that a hurricane or tropical storm is nearing.
They are likely sensing the drop in barometric pressure that follows the storm and attempting to get out of the frenetic zone. If you find yourself in the water with sharks during this time – don’t worry, they’ll have no interest in biting you! But definitely swim to safety.
Water, Water, Everywhere – So Run!
If it’s just been raining a lot and you detect a roar of rushing water, go to high ground as soon as you can. It’s likely that a flash flood is about to occur. In the US, flash floods are the second most dangerous form of severe weather.
They can come in an instant, and you don’t want to be caught in them. They are incredibly powerful: flash floods can roll boulders, uproot trees, level buildings, and drag bridges.
Fly Away With The Birds
While it’s not known if animals leave before an earthquake, if you see golden-winged warblers fly away, it’s likely a serious tornado is on the way. In April 2014, scientists were following a group of these birds in Tennessee when suddenly they all got up and left.
After checking their geolocators, the explorers realized they’d traveled all the way down to Florida. A few days later, all the birds came back to Tennessee, finishing their 900-mile round trip. The scientists believe the birds heard low-frequency infrasound coming from storms nearby.
Spot The Rings Around The Moon
Have you ever noticed an angelic glow around the sun or a mysterious halo around the moon? These patterns are formed when thin, soaring cirrus clouds float above you.
The clouds are made up of small ice crystals that split and reflect the light, making it look like a ring is around the sun or moon. Next time, remember that since cirrus clouds usually come before a storm, the ring could be a sign that rain is on its way.
Your Dog Can Spot Your Ailments
Dogs are excellent at telling you things, even if they can’t directly communicate with us. So if your dog is sniffing or licking a specific part of your body more than usual, you might want to get it checked out.
Dogs have such a strong nose that they can sniff out signs of cancer on humans! In fact, scientists believe they can smell organic cells coming from cancer and have established they can tell the difference between cancer patient urine and cancer-free urine.
Avoid The Cracks In The Snow
Skiing is great fun until a disastrous avalanche descends down the mountain during a race. They can be basically impossible to outrun since the snow can flow as quickly as 80 miles an hour.
It’s important that you learn the signs beforehand, so perhaps you can dodge getting buried in the disaster. Check under your feet for cracked snow or a hollow feeling underneath you. Also, note if there’s been heavy snow or rain, which can cause avalanches.
Rising Water Levels Can Lead To Floods
If it’s been raining for a long time and you notice the water level in a stream or river growing, a flood is likely on its way. You might also notice the water looking extra brownish and muddy.
This is due to the water eroding the neighboring grounds. If you’re ever caught in a flood while you’re in a car, try to avoid any water on the roads. The advice is simple: turn around and drive elsewhere.
Listen To The Sound Of The Sea
Normally, the ocean has a nice and calming sound that many of us like to relax to. Sometimes, however, it can roar like a train. If you hear this particular sound, the chances are that a tsunami is coming straight toward you.
The ocean is a big and dangerous area without massive storms, so be extra careful and get away as soon as you can. Tsunamis are one of the most deadly attacks that nature can spring on us.
Green Skies Show Us Danger
A storm may look green since the setting sun’s red light is mixing with the blue light under a storm. The green color means that this particular thundercloud is remarkably tall and warns that a tornado or hail may be following this
Make sure to get away from the green skies and find cover low down – preferably a basement or underground car park. If it doesn’t turn into a tornado, you might be embarrassed but at least you’ll also be safe.
Watch Out For Lakes Near Volcanoes
If a lake is settled in a very hot environment that never cools and is neighboring any volcanoes, it’s the same as a violently shaken soda can just waiting to explode.
The magma underground might be forcing carbon dioxide into the bottom of the lakes, where there’s a bunch of pressure about to pop. Since it’s hot year round, the lake never processes this and the gas never gets an opportunity to leave. Next time you’re around one of these, tread lightly.
If You Spot Square Waves, Get Out The Water
Even though they look cool from the shore, they can be especially dangerous for surfers, ships, and swimmers. Underneath the surface of these cross-seas is an especially strong current that can drag you out to sea.
See Bands In The Sky? Get Indoors.
If you’re outside admiring the clouds and you spot long streaks of rotating clouds extending into the main thunderstorm, get into a shelter immediately. It’s more ideal to find somewhere away from windows, like a basement, because a tornado might develop soon.
These strips are called “inflow bands” and their presence highlights that the storm is drawing in low-level air from long distances. They normally stretch to the southeast or south of the storm and are relatively low in the sky.
Avoid Green Water (And Yellow Snow!)
If you live near water – a river, lake, or ocean – you might want to monitor its colors. If you’re used to lovely blue waters with plenty of wildlife, it might shock you to see it turn green!
Green water could mean that the water nearby is contaminated with algae. It is important to prevent kids or animals from entering the water until the water has been replaced or restored back to healthy levels. Symptoms can vary from sickness to death – so it’s not worth the risk!
Don’t Stay In Caves If It’s A Full Moon!
There are many amazing caves that deserve to be explored when we walk along the beach. Just make sure you don’t stumble into one of these caves when it is a full moon – you might not be able to get out!
Full moons make the tide lower than normal, which might make the cave more accessible than normal. If you find yourself in one, make sure to get out quickly, or you might get trapped inside!
Snakes… Why Did It Have To Be Snakes!
The most notable of rattlesnakes are their rattle. Positioned at the end of their tail, the rattle alerts people when the snake is feeling threatened or just plain angry.
If you ever hear the snake rattle its tail erratically, then you might want to stay away! Every time a rattlesnake sheds its skin, these rattles get louder and more poisonous.
Study The Sky To Predict The Weather
There’s a famous saying that is used by people who live along the coast:
“Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.” Rumor has it that sailors actually used this saying to predict the weather, to surprisingly accurate results.
This is because the red color comes from sunlight bouncing off water vapor, which can indicate the weather and the amount of rain to expect. Next time you see a red sky, remember that it is about to rain!
Learn The Volcano Signals
If you live near a volcano, you’ll want to learn about some of the warning signs that could potentially save your life. Before an eruption, they’re likely to show signs of steam, gas, or small earthquakes.
Thankfully, we have volcanologists all around the world carefully tracking the behavior of volcanoes around the world, making sure we don’t have any more repeats of Pompeii!
Funnel Clouds Are No Fun!
These cone-shaped clouds wrap around in wind turbines and travel over the land without touching the ground. Over time, there’s no guarantee that these clouds won’t turn into a tornado, which can cause deadly damage.
Next time you see a funnel cloud, stay inside. Consider the weather outside: hot funnel clouds are dangerous, whereas cold ones are lot calmer and safer. If you see these, get indoors!
Don’t Eat Tree Mushrooms!
Mushrooms are a healthy part of most diets. You can cook them and have them in salads, burgers, or even on a pizza. But if you see one growing outside near a tree, you’re going to want to keep your mouth shut!
These deadly mushrooms are known as the ‘destroying angel’ and can kill you if you eat them. The all-white caps and stems shoot poison into your body. As a rule of thumb, never eat raw mushroom – you don’t know that it won’t kill you!
Bright Colored Snakes Are Dangerous
You will want to stay away from particularly colorful animals that you encounter in the wild. If you see a reptile with red, orange, or yellow skin, you’ll know that their colors are telling you they’re poisonous. In fact, they’ve evolved for that to be the case.
These animals want you to know that they are dangerous, so their colors reflect that. Any alarming colors on these animals could mean they’re poisonous, so it is best to avoid them completely.
Cracking Timber Might Mean ‘TIMMMMMMBBBBBBERRRRRR’
If you see a tree with missing pieces or bark or wood, you might want to move your car! A tree with missing wood can be a sign of infection or damage that might result in it falling over.
If you spot this, make sure to get everything you can away from it. You might not be able to move your house, so seek advice from tree surgeons if you think it might be about to fall.
Don’t Be In The Way Of A Charging Bull
Weirdly, more people are killed each year by cows than sharks. It’s amazing how one film in the 1970s can completely tarnish sharks’ reputations for 40 years. Anyway, if you ever see a cow or bull run toward you, you’re going to want to get out of the way.
You can normally spot the warning signs by how they paw at the ground or aggressively snort. If there is something between you – like a tree or feeding trough – then he’s telling you to move!
Listen To The Frogs For The Weather
Frogs might best be known for their signature croaks, but do you know what they mean? If you hear them croak more than normal, it could mean that it’s about to rain. It might not be a big deal, but you don’t want your picnic ruined!
Frogs actually love the rain: it’s an opportunity to mate with potential partners since they lay their eggs in water. Frogs will be doing a lot more than singing in the
Shiny Sidewalks Might Mean Death
On a cold and crisp evening, you might see some snow start to fall. When that snow turns to rain or water and settles on the ground, you might think it wise to admire the glossy look it gives off from the floor. You are in fact looking at ‘Black Ice’ and it is incredibly dangerous.
Black Ice causes cars to skid and crash or people to slip and fall. Aside from a slight glossy or shiny look it gives off, you might miss it entirely. Annoyingly, it can last for days so make sure you learn what it looks like!
If You See Walls Of Dust, Immediately Get Off The Road
If you find yourself driving in the southwest United States and see a cloud of dust, you are in trouble. The best thing you can do in this situation is to safely get off the road, put on your brake, and turn off your lights. You are about to be in the middle of a sandstorm!
Sandstorms are fairly common in the area and can cause huge accidents if people drive during them. It’s important to turn your lights off so that people don’t think you’re driving towards them!
When Skunks Stamp Their Feet, It’s Time To Go!
We’ve seen enough cartoons to know what skunks can do! While their spray isn’t deadly or dangerous, you never want to be sprayed by one! The intense and disgusting smell won’t get you any friends.
You can avoid being sprayed by a skunk by spotting some of the early signals. If they quickly raise their tails and shake them, back away immediately! That’s their final warning before a massive spray of mess hits you.
Don’t Walk On Frozen Lakes
This one might seem a little obvious to people who don’t live in cold temperatures, but sometimes it’s an essential part of life. In some parts of the world, you can walk on frozen lakes since the climate is so cold that they are strong enough to hold you.
These cases are rare, however, and are not recommended. If you see an iced over lake, it is better to avoid it entirely if you can. You never know if you will end up slipping through the cracks.
When Stung Near A Hive, Run!
If you find yourself surrounded by bees, the single most important thing to do is nothing. They will sting you if they feel threatened, so don’t give them any reason to think it! Unfortunately for us, they are attracted to our sweet-smelling sweat.
Bees die after stinging mammals, which means that if you get stung by a bee, a dead bee will emit pheromones that literally call nearby bees to extract revenge on the killer! If you get stung by a bee, run from the corpse as
Colored Pools Could Be Poison
If you ever find yourself in Yellowstone National Park and see a multi-colored hot spring, do not get any closer! This could be incredibly dangerous since they are naturally reaching temperatures of more than 200 degrees! For comparison, hot tubs usually reach around 100 degrees.
Bacteria absolutely love hot and damp environments, meaning that these pools could carry deadly amounts of germs. Thankfully, the Park has man-made signs telling you what color means danger.
Look Out For Five-Toed Paw Prints
When you are hiking in the forest, it’s always helpful to be on the lookout for bears or signs of them. Seeing paw prints in the mud can be an exciting thing – but five toes means it’s a deadly bear! Also keep a look out for scratch marks on tree trunks.
The seasoned trekker will also spot hairs on the floor or small tufts of fur. If you happen to see a bear, make sure to avoid eye contact and make yourself look as big as possible!
Never Eat Red Berries
A general rule is that you shouldn’t eat things from nature unless you are certain what it is. We’ve already seen how mushrooms could be a deadly mistake – the same can be said for berries! What we eat most days from out supermarkets aren’t the same, so let’s make sure we know what’s what.
Holly berries can cause nausea, dogwood berries aren’t digestible by humans, and cotoneaster berries can cause seizures. If you accidentally eat the wrong berry, go to the hospital immediately.
Ecosystem Canaries Warn Us About Our World
Once upon a time, coal miners used canaries to check for poisonous gasses underground. Today, it looks as though scientists are using ‘ecosystem camaries’ to check the overall health of our ecosystem. While technically not canaries, they can provide tons of information.
Scientists hope to identify ‘ecosystem canaries’ animals capable of telling us about our planet – in a hope to learn more about it. We could learn volumes about temperature, rainfall, humidity, and other factors.
Plant And Animal Movement Can Tell Us About Climate Change
One of the biggest signs of climate change is the shifting of animal and plant regions. Ranges determine where animals and plants settle for home. These can be related to temperature, humidity, rainfall, or other factors. When animals decide to get up and leave, we can assume the climate is telling them to do so.
Grizzly bears are moving more north as the years go by, suggesting that they are seeking colder territories. Scientists have claimed that almost half of life on earth is moving somewhere new.
You CAN Escape Quicksand!
We’ve seen all the movies that show us quicksand is an avoidable death. Despite the fact that it’s very difficult to spot, there is still hope for those who find themselves in it. You should not grab a snake or rope, as *ahem* some Hollywood movies have told us.
Instead, simply stand up straight and gently wiggle your feet as you lift them. Applying a bit of pressure will cause the water and air wrapped around your feet to loosen and make space for you to get away safely.
Monitor Your Cows’ Udders
Farmers might just be able to save thousands of lives the next time they milk a cow. Many studies have shown that cows show drastically lower levels of milk production days before an earthquake.
The next time that cow production slows down, farmers should immediately call authorities or local news networks. Giving people a few days notice might save lives by giving people the chance to evacuate the area.
Ladybirds Huddle In Heat
Seeing a few ladybirds together can be a charming sight, but a dozen? That might be a bit concerning. If you ever see them huddling together in large groups, they might be preparing for particularly hot weather.
Ladybirds gather together in order to preserve their body moisture and safeguard themselves from drying out. It is a grouped activity that can warn humans that hot weather is on the way. Although we won’t exactly dry up, we might want to stay hydrated!
Dead Fish On The Beach Could Be A Sign
If you spot one dead animal on the beach, it won’t mean anything for your health. However, if you see a school of dead fish or other animals, it might mean that the water has turned toxic. It’s reasonable that “red tide” is getting into the water close to the beach.
Red tides happen all over the world, but one algae species
If The Wind Changes, A Storm Might Be Coming
If the wind around you starts to quickly speed up, that’s a pretty clear sign that a storm is about to hit. You might want to get inside and stay dry while you can.
Unfortunately, slowing winds don’t mean that you are in the clear, either. If the wind suddenly slows down or stops, it could be a sign that something far worse is on the way!