Could You Handle an Emergency? What to Do in 12 Scary Situations

You're confronted by a black bear in the woods.

Wrong response: Play dead.

Smart move: Most black bears are not interested in people and can be scared away, says Tim Smith, a former wilderness EMT and owner of Jack Mountain Bushcraft and Guide Service, in Masardis, Maine. Stand up as tall as you can (hold your arms up to appear bigger), and speak in a deep, loud voice while backing up slowly. If the bear charges or starts to attack, believe it or not, you should fight back vigorously. If you can, hit him in the nose, since that's a bear's main sensory organ. Whatever you do, don't run. "If you run, the bear is going to chase you, and it can run faster than you can," says Smith. However, you should play dead if a brown grizzly bear charges at you, because they typically won't be scared away. (There are no grizzlies east of the Rocky Mountains.)

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