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tv   Split Second Decision  MSNBC  December 4, 2016 2:00am-3:01am PST

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♪ life can turn terrifying in an instant. you're trapped in a raging wildfire. your day cruise turns deadly. you're caught in the cross hairs of a man with a gun. even the ordinary routines can become struggles to stay alive. >> oh, my god, oh, my god. >> oh, no, oh, no. >> survival is not a game, but you do need a game plan. you have multiple options, but only seconds to choose. what will be your split second decision? it's a popular excursion for ocean-loving fun seekers the world over, commonly called the
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booze cruise, because the price of a ticket includes unlimited alcohol and food. on the west coast of costa rica, one such party boat is about to depart for the island of tortuga. alexis is one of more than 100 people piled onto this multi-level catamaran for the trip. it's a hot day, and most of the passengers are on the top deck enjoying the shade of the canopy, but less than 30 minutes into the trip, strong winds and waves force the boat to turn back, and the crew is tested. >> about five minutes after they turn the boat around they start handing out life jackets. and then all of a sudden the boat's tilted and they say everybody run to the side of the boat. >> alexis continues recording as the party vibe quickly turns to confusion. >> i'm just kind of sitting in
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the middle going okay, this is strange. >> and things are about to get a whole hot worse. >> oh, my god. >> suddenly, the boat makes a hard tilt. with only seconds before disaster, would you know what to do? the boat you're on is leaning, taking on water. should you a, help slower passengers off first so they don't become trapped. b, immediately dive into the ocean and swim away from the boat, or c, hold something sturdy and hold on for as long as you can. >> once water starts coming in over the transom, the boat sinks. hanging on that table won't keep you above water. if you're stuck under that can any and your world is upside down, you're going to die. >> so, if you chose c, you chose wrong. but you have to choose
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something. what may seem selfish could mean survival. >> you're no help to anybody if you're drowning yourself. you have to help yourself. you have to make sure that you're an asset, not a liability to someone. >> for that reason, a is the wrong decision. >> if you're just barely hanging on for survival, that might be all you can do is just plop in the water and survive and try to find the surface. >> there was absolutely no time for me to think about anything but the fact that i needed to swim and to get out and to get off of this boat. >> the correct answer is b, immediately dive in and swim away from the boat. but for alexis and 100 other tourists, it's too late to jump. as the vessel sinks, this woman fights to keep her children together. alexis struggles to break free as the boat floor bangs against her head. >> my biggest concern was being sucked underneath the canopy. i just thought to myself, i'm not dying today, and i just swam. >> with her gopro camera still recording, she escapes. but the nightmare isn't over
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yet. >> by the time i popped above the water, the boat was gone. there were people and things floating in the water. there was no boat to be seen. >> now passengers are stranded in the open ocean and facing a horrific reality. >> i think he's dead. >> who? >> i think he's dead. >> who? >> the man in the water floating. >> now what? your boat is capsized. and you're stranded in open ocean. should you a, swim for shore if you can see it. b, lose your waterlogged clothes so they don't weigh you down, or c, stay with the wreckage? >> if somebody were to swim off on their own, they could get off their target pretty easily by
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ocean currents and wind and waves. >> so even if you're an excellent swimmer, choosing a is a risky proposition. but what about option b? true or false, your clothes can actually keep afloat. believe it or not, the answer is true. it's an old sailor survival trick. if you lose your life jacket, tie the legs of your pants into a knot. fill them with air and wrap it around your head. even those water-logged clothes an function as a floatation device, b is the wrong decision. that makes your best chance at get being saved in this scenario option c. >> if the boat sinks, stay in the wreckage. because that's what any search and rescue crews from the air are going to see. they're going to see the wreckage. they're going to see the boat.
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>> after more than an hour. boats responding to the emergency distress signal arrive to the grateful survivors. >> i remember giving the guy a hug when i got back to the land, i was going, yes, they got us on solid ground. >> sadly, three passengers lose their lives in the accident. a fate experts say you may be able to avoid with just a little planning. >> it takes five seconds to have thought just to be prepared for something. and what you've done is you've planted that seed in the back of your head that something could go wrong, so when it goes wrong you react to it. >> if the worst does happen and your boat capsizes, experts urge you to follow these tips. jump away from the sinking boat. stay with the wreckage so rescuers can find you, and most importantly, be prepared for the worst before it happens. >> if you're not prepared for it, if you're not trained for it, you have no choice but to panic.
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middletown, california, a normally quiet community of 1300 residents, about 70 miles north of san francisco. that all changed on september 12, 2015, after months of unusually dry heat an enormous wildfire erupts, sending 200-foot high flames racing toward the town. >> the trees and topography and the type of material that was burned had not burned in many, many years which contributed to the fast rate of flame. >> get in the car! >> 16-year-old eric marx was watching the inferno from his grandmother's house in middletown when suddenly -- >> i saw the fire jump the road. so i told everybody, let's go, let's go, let's go. go! >> with choking smoke closing in from all sides, eric's relatives take off in other vehicles while he jumps in the car with his brother.
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but as the brother approaches a highway, they run straight into a wall of flames. fire on the highway, and you're in the hot seat. and later. how would you fare during an attack by an armed intruder? >> it looked like for some reason, this is going to be the day that i die. somebody sent someone to kill me. he gets a lot of compliments.
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he wears his army hat, walks around with his army shirt looking all nice. and then people just say, "thank you for serving our country" and i'm like, that's my dad. male vo: no one deserves a warmer welcome home. that's why we're hiring 10,000 members of the military community by the end of 2017. i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. the valley fire in september 2015 is rapidly engulfing middletown, california. 16-year-old eric is watching the inferno from his grandmother's
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house in middletown when suddenly, the massive inferno is blocking all exits. so what would you do? you're fleeing a burning town when you suddenly find your exit blocked by flames. should you a, ditch the car and flee on foot, b, drive around and find a structure to hide inside, or c, step on the gas and power through, with the flames rising, you might be tempted to step on it. >> a running vehicle itself, when it becomes overcome by a large amount of smoke will eventually shut off and could stall. and based on that, you may be in an area that you may become trapped. so by staying in that vehicle you have only moments of fresh air until that vehicle's
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actually overcome by smoke and fire. >> making a run for it is not much better. >> you should not flee on foot. you much likely would be safer in a structure that would protect you for a matter of moments. rather than being in the direct line of a fire. that fire front will move over you very rapidly, and you have a better chance of survivability by putting yourself in a structure. >> the correct answer is b, but if no structure is available the next option. >> find an open area with low fuel, that has dirt around it, that does not have something that will burn. you want stay away from trees, get yourself as low as you can. hopefully that fire front will pass over and you will be able to survive it. >> in the chaos, eric and his brother lose contact with their family. panicked, they decide to stay in their car and try to reach the
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nearby highway, but it doesn't take long to realize their mistake. >> there was fire hitting the window, embers. you could barely see five feet in front of you, even with the headlights. so we were just driving, we were driving on where we thought the road was. the entire engine compartment caught on fire, our feet, we could feel the flames burning the metal and the plastic under the car. we could see the smoke coming up through the holes and the ventilation. it was pouring out black smoke. >> you've made a risky choice to stay in your car with the hope of driving through an inferno. to increase your chances, should you, a, open your windows to prevent glass from shattering
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under high heat, b, keep the windows closed, or c, open the windows slightly, then cover them with any materials available? >> you really shouldn't cover any, any vehicle with window covering, due to the fact that those are combustible materials, and those materials itself will start to catch fire, just based on the radiated heat. >> and rolling down your windows will only let the elements in faster. so if you chose b, you made the correct decision. keep those windows closed. >> what you want to do is stay encapsulated in that vehicle as best you can. it's imperative to make sure your windows are fully closed. visibility is maintained. it's going to be difficult to see, but what you need to do is slow down as best you can and ensure that you have space between you and possibly another vehicle in front of you. >> after losing track of their relatives, eric and his brother barely make it through the firestorm, escaping their car just seconds before it's engulfed in flames. turns out their mother is nearby and witnesses their escape from
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the vehicle. >> what i see is the kids, you know, with the car burning. i was panicking. i was shaking. for the whole, you know, commotion that was happening. but just when i think i'm going to lose them, i was feeling numb, but i got out and run to them. >> eric and his extended family make it out, but his grandmother's house is totally destroyed, along with 60% of middletown's other homes. in the end, firefighters suffer severe burns and four civilians lost their lives. >> i do think it is a miracle that we survived. it is the scariest thing in my life. and always will be. nothing can top that. >> to avoid finding yourself in such a dire scenario, it's critical to always listen for evacuation orders and remember the following survival tips. if driving, keep headlights and hazard lights on and close your windows.
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if trapped, find a structure to take cover inside or find an open area and lay down. avoid fleeing a wildfire on foot. it will be moving too fast. as climate change causes drought-stricken areas to increase across the u.s., natural disasters like the middletown blaze could become more common. remembering these tips may be your key to staying cool under fire. the department of justice reports about 3 million home burglaries every year. some criminals will wait for you to leave for work, then rob your house in broad daylight, as demonstrated in this individual video. others are bold enough to strike even when you're at home. and that's when things can get really dangerous. >> sometimes you're going to make that split second decision to either fight that person or to get away from that person. >> this woman decides to fight.
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she grabs her own weapon and fires at the intruders who escape out the window with several valuable items. but what happens when they're armed and you're not? san francisco resident bill occidine is about to find out. bill is in his garage when an armed man suddenly rushes in. >> he looked like a hit man to me. for some reason, this is going to be the day that i die. somebody sent someone to kill me. >> a gunman threatens you in your own home. you're unarmed. what's the first thing you should do? a, get your body away from the gun barrel, b, go on the attack aiming for the assailant's body or. c, try to take the gun out of hit hand. -- his hand. not everyone is strong enough to fight, but royel ganion offers this tip. he teaches krav maga. >> when i have the moment to
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react when he's not expecting it, he looks left or right, my goal is to go sideways. >> the correct answer is a, watch for the right opportunity, then get away from the gun barrel. don't discount decisions b and c. they're your next steps to surviving an armed assault. >> i got to remember the weak spots of the body, strength to the weak spots. in this case i can do a knee to the groin. >> his technique isn't textbook. like many of us, he doesn't have formal self-defense training. i wasn't letting up. >> i wanted that gun, i needed it, and i'm going to have it. >> acting on instinct, bill fights for the gun and his life. but it's a battle he fears he might lose. >> it's an insane pandemonium. it seemed like forever. >> you never want to get in a struggle for that long. >> true or false. >> each year nearly one million burglaries happen when someone is home, the answer is true. and of those incidents, 25% of
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occupants are violently attacked like bill. >> you want to keep in mind that you might need to fight for your life right now. and basically, it's going to be life or death. it's going to be you or him. who is it going to be? >> him or me? that's what my drive and my will and determination was. i'm not going to die today. >> they're there to harm you as a person. i would do whatever i could to get the gun away from the guy. >> finally, bill grabs the intruder's weapon and runs away, unfortunately, the would-be robber does too. still holding the weapon, bill runs inside to call 911. but is that the best decision? >> keep in mind, he's the good guy in the situation, but a responding, responding officer may not know that. if you're standing on the street, and you've got a gun in your hand and you're not wearing a uniform, you're vulnerable. >> our experts offer the following tips to save your life if confronted by an armed
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intruder. as police arrive, put down the gun and make sure they don't mistake you for the assailant. when confronted, move your body away from the barrel of the gun. hit them in the groin, eyes or throat, and take the gun. >> i could have been dead. i could have been gone. this could have been the end of the story. >> without warning, home invasions can happen right in the middle of your daily routine. so even on familiar ground, stay alert to your surroundings. you're caught in a flash flood. >> i'm up in a tree. >> can you survive the surge? >> oh, my god, oh, my god. and falling asleep at the wheel can be your worst nightmare. remember to do the little things. help each other out. and the second rule of being a viking.
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there's more than one way to win. vikings: war of clans play free now.
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flash floods are one of nature's most terrifying and unpredictable phenomenon. massive rushes of water can turn small creeks into rushing rivers and city streets into death traps. >> the most vulnerable drain is one where what you're coming out of a canyon, and if you have a
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thundercloud pour all kinds of water into a near row canyon, the walls call the water level to be higher. if there's a road going in front of it, all of a sudden some unsuspecting motorist is hit by several feet of water which is going to be fatal in many cases. >> [ bleep ]. >> on average, 127 people die in flash and river floods each year in the u.s. alone. and according to the national weather service, about half of those fatalities involve vehicles. >> for some reason, moving water attracts people, and they think i'm in a big heavy, two or three-ton vehicle and i can drive across this, and they get fooled. >> in austin, texas, 30-year-old carrie packer is driving home during a mid-day storm when his car is swept up by a flash
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flood. >> it was raining intensely, so it was extremely difficult to see. and the next thing i know, i kind of crash into a wall of water. it comes up over the hood of my car. i had no control of the vehicle. the floodwater was taking me wherever it wanted to go. >> it's flooding here. but the good news is that although my car almost tipped over on its top it didn't. >> normally, i take that route every day, probably been there 100 times. there's no standing water, creeks or rivers or anything like that, so normally, it's just a dry area. >> so you can see, i'm floating down some sort of creek. >> true or false? it takes at least four feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. the answer is false. according to fema, it takes just two feet of rushing water to move even the biggest suvs and pickups. just six inches can knock you
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off your feet. >> most everybody's been in the ocean and been pounded by a huge wave, and they feel that force, they can get up until the water recedes. and moving water and stream does not give you that release. it never releases. so that force is constantly on you, and you can't get up. that's where most of the drownings occur. >> you're trapped in your car and being carried away by a flash flood. what should be your first move? a, unbuckle your seat belt and open the window. b, push open the door and swim away from the car or c, keep the windows rolled up and stay with the car. >> you're not going to be able to push the door open against the weight of that water. remember how heavy that water is. remember it's an incompressible fluid. it doesn't just push side like you do the air. so that door's pretty much going to be staying close. >> which makes b an impossible decision and staying with the
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car is no better. >> the car is basically a death trap. if you roll the windows down, the what you're going to come in at some point. the only way you're getting out is through that window at some point. that's your trick. how do you get free of the car before the car is no longer a nice, floating boat. >> i called 911. they told me to roll down my windows. hopefully they'll be here soon. >> though it may seem counterintuitive, the answer is a, unbuckle your seat belt and open your windows. but now you have another split second decision to make. after several minutes, your car is filling with water through the windows and air bags, you're beginning to sink. should you a, exit the car throughout window and start swimming, climb onto the roof of the car or c, grab onto a tree or passing structure. >> i was going to get in the floodwater, that's
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unpredictable. there's obstacles, dead trees, fences, whatever that may be under that water that you can't see, that if i were to try to swim, i would probably die. >> even if he's the best of swimmers, it doesn't matter, that water is very, very dangerous and challenging for the experts and people like us who train in it all the time. >> as with swimming, climbing on the roof could also be dangerous. you could shift the weight and tip the whole car over, or it could roll naturally. either way, you're trapped. >> oh, my god, oh, my god. >> the answer is c. grab onto a tree or passing structure through the open window. >> is there something you can grab? is there a post nearby that you can reach out and grab? or if the car floats over against a wall or something, be prepared to spring out the window and grab onto that wall. you have to split second thinking here. you've got to get out of that situation. you need to climb to safety, but what are you going to grab ahold of? be ready to make that decision in an instant, because the car is floating on by.
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>> i was very fortunate because i passed right by a small tree. so i reached my arms out the window and grabbed onto that tree and pulled myself out. not 20 seconds later, my car hits a couple of trees head on. and it's just gone. >> kerry climbs a tree, but with floodwaters rising, he's still far from safety. >> i'm up in a tree, because my car was just no longer visible under the water. was swept into the creek and everything around me is water as you can see. >> there was a very large snake that climbed up a tree near my tree, and he's trying to escape the floodwaters as well. so everything, every living thing in that area is trying to get out of this disaster. >> kerry called his wife, who
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called 911. and after five hours, shivering in the tree, he was rescued by helicopter. he was lucky. >> you know, when people are used to driving a certain road. and in this day and age, we're always busy, got to get here, got to get there, used to driving that road. you see a little bit of water on that road, and you don't give it enough respect. water has more power than most people realize. the saying, turn around don't drown. i hope everybody's already heard that one, but please, don't just hear it. put it in your mind. >> here i am. i finally found my car. about two weeks after the incident, once the floodwaters had completely receded, i hiked out to the area. my car was still there, laying on its side, and it was just
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completely demolished. this is the tree that saved my life. actually, when i was up in that tree, saved some of the seeds from the tree and put in my pocket. i have those at home and ready to plant them as soon as i find the right place. >> i was all the way in the very top. >> if you encounter fast-moving floodwaters, take note of the following split-second tips. open your windows. at first opportunity, climb out of your window to safety. but first and foremost, never try to walk, swim or drive through floodwater. turn around, don't drown. by following these rules, you can save lives, including your own, when facing a flash flood. >> oh, look at this, oh, my god. terror at 50 feet. >> you can feel the heat. and later, the hazards of batteries overheating.
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oh no, that looks gross whoa, twhat is that? try it. you gotta try it, it's terrible. i don't wanna try it if it's terrible. it's like mango chutney and burnt hair. no thank you, i have a very sensitive palate. just try it! guys, i think we should hurry up. if you taste something bad, you want someone else to try it. it's what you do. i can't get the taste out of my mouth! if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do.
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shhh! dog, dog, dog.
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i'm dara brown with the hour's top stories.
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nine bodies have been recovered from a warehouse gutted from a warehouse fire in california. and raul castro urged thousands of cubans to continue his brother's legacy. now back to "split second decision." almost half a million fires ignite each year in buildings. that's according to the fire protection association. it's an average of one fire every minute of every day. in houston, texas, fire breaks out at a five-storey apartment complex under construction. a worker climbs the roof to investigate, but by then the fire is too big to extinguish, and it gets worse. the worker tries to find his way down but ends up trapped here on this balcony.
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>> this guy is on the ledge. look at this, oh, my god. >> you can feel the heat. >> and if they can feel it across the street, he can definitely feel it on the balcony. >> there is a period of time where if the room becomes consumed with hot heat that absolutely, you can breathe that air in, and it can actually burn your lung tissues as it's going down. >> with every passing second, the temperature rises as the danger gross. >> oh, my jesus, oh, my god. >> this construction worker is minutes from burning to death. he needs to make a decision, and he needs to make it now. could you handle the heat? you're trapped by fire and smoke on the upper floor of a building. what's your first move? should you a, try to crawl back
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through the building, staying low to the ground? b, call 911 and sit tight until help arrives, or do you, c, jump for it, aim for a tree, bush or something else that will cushion the fall? >> what we find is that a lot of civilians that are caught in these types of environments make poor decisions. instead of finding or understanding their environment and having a preplanned escape route, they usually will either go back to where the fire is or get caught in an area where the fire will soon consume. >> as for jumping, he's five stories up with concrete below. >> there are survivable falls on the fifth floor and non-survivable falls. depending on how you land and what you land on. >> in this case, even if you suspect someone has already called for you, the correct answer is b, sit tight and call 911. but you're not out of danger yet. firefighters are coming, but you need to make a decision before they arrive.
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what should you do? a, lower yourself to another floor of the building from a window, door or balcony, b, get on your stomach and lay low, or c, cover your mouth and any exposed skin to protect yourself from smoke and flames. >> you have to imagine yourself cooking at home and opening your oven, and most people cook about 350 degrees, and you figure a fire anywhere from 700 to 800, to 1,000 degrees. >> true or false, flames can burn skin without even making contact. the answer is true. even if the actual flames never touch you, prolonged exposure to extreme heat is enough to scorch skin, even through your clothes. >> it becomes what we call thermal burns. and due to the heat of that fire, your skin can start burning. you can start developing redness, based on the heat, to a point where your skin starts to blister. >> so, while experts say you
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should drop to the floor and cover your skin if you're initially trapped in a fire, those decisions aren't effective when time is running out. >> dropping to his belly really wouldn't buy him much more time, however, what you can do, is as low as you get, you always have moments of a little more safety than you would if you were standing up. >> the correct answer is a, if you can, lower yourself to another floor. with only seconds left before the fire reaches him, the construction worker makes the split second decision to drop from the fifth floor to the fourth floor. >> oh, no, oh, no oh, no. >> he had the ability and agility to make that decision and was lucky enough to land on that lower landing. obviously, not everybody's going to be able to do that. >> he buys himself more time, but not much. the fire captain frantically waves his arms and motions for the driver to close the distance between the balcony and the ladder. >> by lowering himself to the
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balcony below is buying himself some time, just minutes. what you also have to compromise his safety is not only the fire consuming the floor that he's on, but also the structural integrity of that building. >> sensing the ladder is already strained, the fireman tells his partner to get back. >> no, back up! >> then, with a good two feet left -- >> the stress that he's putting on that ladder if he jumps, and that ladder happens to bounce up and down at the tip of that ladder has a significant risk of ladder failure, which would jeopardize everybody's life. >> oh, thank jesus, thank you god. >> they appear safe, but it's not over yet. just as the engine driver swings the ladder wide -- >> look out! >> oh, my god!
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>> the top floor collapses, missing both the rescuer and the rescued by inches. the construction worker survives with second degree burns and a sprained ankle. thankfully, no one else was injured. if you're trapped by fire, our experts want you to remember these tips. call 911 and tell them your exact location. don't assume someone else did it for you. never head back into the fire. get low to the ground and cover exposed skin. watch for falling debris. if you don't want to become a statistic, plan ahead, and stay alive. >> oh, no, oh, my god! a driver starts to drift. >> no, wake up! >> and you're about to become collateral damage.
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aaa says nearly 5,000 people die on u.s. roads each year in accidents like this. and drivers who are less alert react more slowly and even fall asleep. >> drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. both are going to impair your ability to multi-task, which is really important while you're driving. >> could our never-ending drive to keep going put lives in danger? >> a taxi owner catches his employee nodding off for just a second. could this have been avoided? true or false? caffeinated beverages and energy drinks will keep you awake while driving.
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the answer is false. >> caffeine may be a short fix, but the best thing you can do is plan ahead. get that good sleep before driving or find an alternative like a ride share or a friend to drive for you. >> experts say tired drivers experience something called micro sleeps. most of us call it spacing out. no amount of caffeine can stop it. monday morning in union town, pennsylvania. co-workers casey and kevin are out on a delivery, when they spot a white suv driving erratically. >> my first initial thought that i had was that i hope that she's not under the influence of anything, and if she is, i hope she pulls over, and i actually got my phone out and started recording, because it made me really nervous, and i wanted to get it on camera in case anything bad happened. i actually had kevin make the phone call to call 911. >> you notice a car repeatedly swerving. you've already called 911. your next step should be pass the car to alert drivers ahead.
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get close enough to signal the driver with a honk or flashing lights or c, slow down and follow at a distance. >> we were trying to honk the horn at her, but she was in her own little zone and she was nonresponsive to anybody or any other cars on the road who were honking their horns at her. she was just driving, trying to get to her destination i guess. >> option b is the wrong decision. at best it won't work. at worst -- >> by getting closer to that vehicle, you risk the chance of them doing something that you're not able to react to and yourself getting into an
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accident. >> the suv stops at a light. it seems like the perfect chance to pull ahead and alert other drivers. but if you choose a, pass the driver, you're flirting with disaster. experts say you never want to pass someone driving erratically. they could make a sudden move and crash into you. >> the most important thing if you see an erratic driver is keep that distance. >> the correct answer is c, slow down and stay back. the farther the better. this erratic driver hits close to 50 miles per hour. the car veers into the opposite lane, forcing a truck onto the shoulder. then the driver slows down and
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hits the left turn signal. they think they're finally out of danger. >> i knew it was coming. >> you okay? >> yeah, i'm fine, i'm fine, i'm fine. >> my adrenaline was pumping so fast and so much that i didn't feel anything. the only thing i could think of was to get out of the truck and make sure everybody else was okay. >> turns out the erratic driver had just come off the overnight shift. kc and kevin are treated for whiplash. and the other driver survived with undisclosed injuries. experts offer these tips to stop drowsy driving. don't drive if you're tired. pull off and take a nap or have another plan to get home. if you see a driver acting erratically, call 911 immediately. keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles. >> if you're tired and driving, first and foremost, you shouldn't drive. the consequences are going to be dire. >> for anybody who is on the road, and they feel like they're tired in any, way, shape or form, stop and reevaluate your situation, because you're not only putting your life in jeopardy but you're also putting
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other people's lives in jeopardy. >> i knew it was coming! think fast. your next split second decision may be the most explosive yet. he gets a lot of compliments.
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he wears his army hat, walks around with his army shirt looking all nice. and then people just say, "thank you for serving our country" and i'm like, that's my dad.
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male vo: no one deserves a warmer welcome home. that's why we're hiring 10,000 members of the military community by the end of 2017. i'm very proud of him. male vo: comcast. so-called hover boards are the newest way to scoot around the neighborhood. but this popular gadget is literally exploding across the country. the consumer product safety commission reported at least 60 hover board fires. they all have one thing in common. >> the battery, they can take up a charge, they don't really build up a memory to the charge. >> true or false, lithium ion batteries need a full, 100% charge to work properly. the answer is false. but here's why. traditional batteries die a little bit every time you use them. and if the charge drops below 50%, you might as well throw them away. they're not going to recover.
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lithium ion use the same amount of power whether you have 80% or 10% of power. and they don't need a charge all the time, but longer battery life comes with risks because the liquid inside the battery is highly flammable. in china, a woman's smartphone explodes while she's charging the battery many and in this kentucky gas station, a man's e-cigarette catches fire while in his pocket. the problem is, the batteries can overheat then detonate, shooting potentially dangerous debris in all directions. thankfully, not all lithium ion batteries are created equal. and consumers can protect themselves by looking for the
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underwriter laboratory or ul label. they've tested the batteries and created safety standards for thousands of products, and they post the results on their website. so if they haven't tested it, you shouldn't buy the product. but even a ul label doesn't guarantee the product is safe. in september 2016, samsung voluntarily recalled the galaxy note 7. after lithium ion batteries caught fire for some users. timothy kaine, a self-described gadget guy is about to have his own dangerously charged encounter right outside his front door. >> hover board is on fire, what is going on, dude? it was such a small fire at the time. i thought when it happened, when it was going on, i thought, okay, i can get this myself. >> i suggest that you call 911 in case anything happens. because it could spread. >> your battery-powered device is on fire. your first step is to call 911,
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but what should you do next? a, use a fire extinguisher, b, pour water on it or c, smother it with baking soda. >> when the fire happened, i panicked. >> i yelled for my mom, and we tried to smother it with baking soda. but as soon as i put the baking soda on it, it sounded like it just ignited. >> baking soda is a common way to stop a grease fire in your kitchen, but it's not even the best way. our experts recommend you stop that fire with a lid. c is the wrong option. suddenly, the situation escalates with dangerous consequences. >> in the video we only see that one shootout, but i found like four or five batteries scattered. >> when you're dealing with flammable liquids under pressure, you have no idea
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what's going to happen. it can go this way, that way, it can explode, off gas. all kinds of things that could happen. >> when the batteries start shooting out of it, one shot out, shot directly over the top of my sneakers, and it burned my shoes, like melted it. >> timothy grabs water and pours it onto the hoverboard. it works. the fire is out. but was that really the best decision? >> water is not a good idea, because you're dealing with electronics. so if you get water on it, then you're going to be dealing with possibly getting shocked. >> so, after calling 911, your next step is to grab a fire extinguisher. >> that's why the extinguishers were there. for civilians to actually use them. >> i didn't know what to do. i didn't know what was going on. i just thought, fire-water. >> the fire is out, but timothy is staring at an unstable situation, so he doesn't have any time to waste. your lithium battery device is
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damaged beyond repair, how do you dispose of it? do you a, take it to a recycling center, b, call the fire department or c return it to the store or manufacturer. >> it's electronics. you don't just throw electronics away. they have to be disposed of properly. >> notify the seller but don't send it back. in fact, don't handle it at all. the device could reignite. the correct answer is b, call the fire department. >> unless you're trained how to deal with such a fire and know exactly what you're dealing with, i would let someone who knows what they're doing deal with it. >> but if you do find yourself battling an exploding battery, experts recommend call 911, use your fire extinguisher, give it to the fire department for safe disposal. before you buy the device, look for the ul label, meaning it has passed strict restrictions.
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be advances in battery technology make it easier to communicate, travel, and grab a quick nicotine fix, but experts want you but experts wantia to be aware of the dangers. life can turn terrifying in an instant. how would you survive being buried alive? >> like concrete or something, the snow gets packed so tight. >> a city bus barrels down the highway, even ordinary routines can become struggles to stay alive. >> the door is open because he won't stop. >> oh my god! oh my god! >> survival is not a game but you do need a game plan. you've got multiple options but only seconds to choose. what will be your split second decision? every year millions of americans hit the slopes at ski resorts and in the back country


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