Thousands of deaths are caused by mines every year in places like North Korea, Afghanistan, India, Vietnam, and Iraq.Even mines that have been around for decades are still as dangerous as when they were first laid.If you want to escape a minefield, read on to find out how.
Step 1: There are signs that mines are close.
You have a better chance of avoiding mines if you know what to look for.If you are in a mined area, don’t let your guard down.Constantly be on the lookout for trip wires.These aren’t usually visible, so you have to pay attention to the ground.Thin wires are hard to see.There are signs of road repair.This includes paved areas, new fill, road patches, ditches, and so on.This could be a sign that mines were nearby.There are signs or markers on trees.The mines may be marked to protect their own soldiers.There are dead animals.Animals often blow up mines.Vehicles are damaged.Cars, trucks, and other vehicles could have been used to blow up a mine.There are suspicious objects in trees and bushes.Not all mines are buried.There are tire tracks that stop suddenly.There are wires on the side of the road.They might be firing wires that are buried.There are odd features in the ground.The plant may change color, the cover may sink or crack, or the material covering the mines may look like mounds of dirt.People are staying away from certain buildings.Locals know where mines are located.To find the exact locations, ask civilians.
Step 2: Stop immediately.
You should freeze when you realize you may be in danger.Don’t take another step.Take some time to figure out an escape plan.Slow, careful and considered are what you need to do from now on.
Step 3: To companions, call out a warning.
Everyone should stop moving if you think you are in danger.”freeze!”Tell them not to move their feet.If you’re the leader in this situation, you will have to teach them how to leave the field safely and make sure everyone is on the same page, because one wrong move could get everyone killed.
Step 4: Don’t pick anything up.
There are mines that are booby-trapped.There’s a mine inside when you pick up a helmet, radio, or military artifact.Food and toys are used as bait.Don’t pick it up if you dropped it.
Step 5: Go back out of the mined area.
If you see warning signs, a mine or a detonation, or if you suspect that you have entered a mined area, please remain calm and carefully back out of danger by stepping in your footsteps.Do not turn around.Slowly place your feet where they were before, as you look behind you.Continue until you know you are out of danger, such as when you reach a road or other frequently traveled area.
Step 6: Get to the ground.
If you have to move forward for some reason, or you can’t see your tracks to backtrack, you’ll need to dig for mines.You can gently probe the ground with a knife or another object if you use your hands or feet.Since mines are usually detonated from top-down pressure, probe at an angle.Continue probing once you’ve cleared a small area.If you want to avoid walking through the field, you should move very slowly and on your belly.
Step 7: If you’re not sure what to do, get help.
Don’t risk moving if you’re not sure where you stepped before.There is a difference between life and death.Have people nearby call for help.Call for help if you are alone and have a cell phone.Unless absolutely necessary, do not use two-way radios.The signal from the radio can cause mines to explode.Wait if you can’t reach anyone.If you know what you are doing, don’t try to make a run for it.
Step 8: Pay attention to the signs of a detonation.
There are signs that a mine may explode.Listen for strange noises.If a pressure plate is depressed or a tilt rod is moved, you may hear the pop of the exploding cap.Pay attention to what you feel.You may be able to feel the tension of a trip wire if you are very alert and proceed slowly.
Step 9: Drop to the ground if there is a detonation.
Soldiers call it hitting the deck.Drop to the ground as quickly as possible if you notice any signs of a mine detonation, or if someone nearby cries out for help.If you use that second wisely, you may be able to escape serious injury or death if the mine explodes.It’s best to be close to the ground.If you can, fall backwards in order to protect your upper body.The safest place to fall onto another mine is right behind you, because you were just walking there.If you try to outrun the explosion, projectiles will fly out from the mine at thousands of feet per second, and you can expect to be injured.
Step 10: If you see a hazard, report it to the proper authorities.
If you find a mine, mark it to make sure other people don’t.If possible, use internationally recognized symbols or signs.Before you try to put a warning up, make sure you are in a safe area.If you know the location of the danger, report it to police, the military, or local de-miners.
Step 11: There are land mines.
“Unexploded ordnance” is a term used to mean bombs, grenades, and artillery shells that have been used but have not yet exploded – “duds,” in other words – and that retain the potential to explode.While mines receive the most media attention, all UXOs are dangerous.The greatest hazard in some parts of the world are other than mines.
Step 12: You can learn about the area’s history.
It’s a good idea to learn about the history of the area you are traveling to to determine if there is a landmine risk.After the cessation of hostilities, areas that are experiencing armed conflict are clearly high-risk.In Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, for example, millions of mines and dud bombs remain and even in Belgium, long combat-free, crews have removed hundreds of tons of UXO left over from WWI and WWII.
Step 13: There were warning signs.
You should stay away from those that are marked.The skull-and-crossbones and red triangle are internationally recognized symbols.There are often signs, but not always red, that say “MINES” or “DANGER.”In places where signs are not present, improvised warnings are often used, such as painted rocks, piles of stones, flags in the ground, or ribbons cordoning off an area.Don’t take the lack of a warning sign as an indication that the area is safe because many mines have no warning signs.
Step 14: Inquire there.
There are mine warnings that don’t last long.Plants, weather, animals and people dismantle signs over time.It’s not uncommon to see a mine warning used to patch a metal roof in some areas.In many places, warnings are never installed.Local people know the general locations of mines and UXO, so your best bet is to ask the locals if the area is safe, or better yet, get a guide.
Step 15: Don’t stray from established paths.
You can be sure that a path is not mined if people use it frequently.There may be danger just off the path.