Credit: Kagan McLeod

Kagan McLeodAre you directionally impaired? There are products for people like you, from cute little GPS devices like the Garmin nüvi 205 ($160) to the Spot Satellite Messenger ($150, plus $100 per year) that helps rescuers locate you if youre lost. Or, try this the next time youre …

In the parking lot
Whip out your phone and take a photo of where you parked your car, including as many identifying marks as possible—the number youre parked on, a sign, a row marker, the color of the elevator door. Youll never wander around with 30 pounds of shopping bags again.

On the road
Before you hit the road, write the route—highway numbers, exit numbers—in order on a Post-it Note and put it on your rearview mirror or dashboard, where you can easily see it without taking your eyes off the road.

In the woods
Use these insider tips from Outward Bound wilderness instructor Dave Moskowitz.

  • Follow a river or ridge, so you dont walk in circles.
  • Eyeball landmarks; look at a funny tree or rock formation, and remember its shape in your head.

Next Page: How to Survive in Severe Weather [ pagebreak ]

How to Survive...

A blizzard
The secret to staying warm in any emergency cold-weather situation is to breathe through your nose, not your mouth, survival expert Brian Brawdy says. Gulping cold, dry air will chill and dehydrate you, but taking in air through your mucous-lined nasal passages warms and humidifies the air before it reaches your lungs.

A hurricane

  1. Evacuate when told to do so by emergency officials, says Weather Channel meteorologist Stephanie Abrams.
  2. If its too late to evacuate, seek refuge in a windowless room on an upper floor. Heavy winds and flying debris are bad, but the storm surge (the onshore rush of water caused by a hurricanes swirling winds) and flooding from rainfall can be just as dangerous as wind. Thats why you want to be as high above the water level as possible and stay away from windows, Abrams says.
  3. If youre not near water, protect yourself from the wind in an interior room on the buildings lowest floor.

An earthquake
Drop, cover, and hold—drop to the floor under a sturdy table or away from objects that can fall on you, cover your eyes with your arms, and hold on. If youre in bed when the quake hits, stay there and protect your face with a pillow. If youre in a car, drive to a clearing, away from trees, overpasses, bridges, tall buildings, and overhead wires.

An electrical storm
If youre out in the open, get away from trees or poles and get into a modified crouch: Bend head forward, keep elbows tightly by sides, wrap arms around knees (dont let hands touch the ground), and raise heels slightly off the ground, so your full foot isnt on the ground.