KEYWORD - SURVIVAL
If you ever find yourself in a survival situation, you can use the keyword "SURVIVAL" as a memory aid to help yourself.
Size up the situation. Immediately ensure your security. If you are in a hostile situation find some concealment. If you have been in a car accident get off the road. Secure yourself from animals, bad weather, etc. What you need to do at this point is calm down and chill out so that you can think clearly. Get underneath some type of cover (this is kinda like hiding underneath the covers as a kid). Drink some water. Use all of your senses to get a feel for the environment: sight, sound, smell, feel. Try to determine the patterns of your surroundings. These patterns change constantly during the different parts of the day. Size up your physical condition - administer first aid if needed. Take an inventory of everything you have. It gives you something productive to do and will let you "allocate resources" more efficiently later.
Undue haste makes waste. Plan everything. Do not move just for the sake of doing something. Have a well thought-out plan with contingencies before you take action. If you act in haste you could worsen your situation by losing equipment, hurting yourself, or rushing headlong into a worse situation. If you are in enemy territory, have a plan to move out quickly without endangering yourself should the need arise.
Remember where you are. Try to fix your location on a map. Know where you are on the ground and on your map at all times. Make sure any members in your group also know - do not depend on one person to navigate. Determine where you are in relation to friendlies, enemy, water sources, cover and concealment, major terrain features, roads, etc.
Vanquish fears and panic. See "S" and "U" above. Fear and panic will drain your energy and hurt your ability to think clearly. They are negative emotions that you must not allow. Prior knowledge and training will help your confidence and abilities.
Improvise. We live in a disposable society and are programmed to throw furniture, old VCRs, old people...) In a survival situation what you have is what you have - that's it. If you need a tool, shelter, and some equipment you don't have on you - you'll have to improvise. Practice this in your daily life. You can improvise almost anything you'll need but food and water.
Value living. You must have a will to live. If you curl up in a fetal position and suck your thumb you will die. Story (supposedly true): Some millionaire's private plane crashes in the desert. He lives but does everything wrong. He leaves the crash site and walks during the hot daylight. He takes off all of his clothes as he gets hotter and continues. He gets delirious and removes even his shoes. He is cut, scraped, dehydrated to the point that when he is discovered later - passed out, black tongue, split lips - his wounds no longer bleed. The docs don't believe he is still alive. Upon recovery when asked how he kept going his response was - he knew that if he died his estranged wife would get everything and THAT motivated him to live.
Act like the natives. When do they work? When do they sleep? What do they wear? Most of these things happen for a reason. Siestas weren't because Mexicans were lazy - it was too hot to work. Observe the natives; respect their customs; adapt your behavior. This could apply to Mongolian tribesmen or inner-city dwellers. When you are on unfamiliar turf you can learn a lot from the natives -or you can get killed.
Learn basic skills. The time to learn is now - before a survival situation occurs. Acquire knowledge and practice, practice, practice. Take/make opportunities to train. When you go camping try to start that fire with something other than a match (or try to cook on something other than a grill). Learn to hunt, fish, and identify edible plants. Practice your map skills daily. Take CPR training. You get the picture.