Have a Safe Flight!

“Evacuations from passenger planes occur about once a week,” says a report in USA Today. Although most of these are minor incidents or false alarms, evacuation may be much easier if you observe the following suggestions:

DRESS RIGHT. Wear clothing that is comfortable and that allows freedom of movement. Clothes should cover as much of your skin as possible. Slacks and long-sleeved tops are recommended. Wear clothes made of natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool, denim, and leather. Synthetics, such as rayon, polyester, and nylon (especially hosiery), can melt when heated, causing potentially serious burns to the body and legs.

PREPARE MENTALLY. Think of what you will do in case of an emergency. Once seated, locate the nearest emergency exits, both ahead of your row and behind it. Listen to the safety briefing presented by the flight attendant before departure. Review the safety card that provides details on evacuation procedures.

DO NOT PANIC. If an emergency occurs, stay calm and follow instructions from crew members. If evacuation is necessary, proceed to the nearest emergency exit, leaving your possessions behind.

EVACUATE THE PLANE CAREFULLY. Jump feet first onto the slide instead of sitting down to slide. Fold your arms across your chest. Keep your legs and feet together, and remove shoes with sharp heels. Once you are on the ground, move away from the aircraft, and remain alert for emergency vehicles.

Can adhering to these guidelines make a difference? Yes! “Not all aviation accidents are fatal,” says the Federal Aviation Administration newsletter Intercom. It adds: “Approximately 50 percent of all commercial aviation fatalities occur in accidents that are survivable.”