Boost your emergency preparedness with the 20 mnemonics below.
Wait! You don’t know what a mnemonic is? It’s a tool that helps us remember certain facts or large amounts of information. They can come in the form of a song, rhyme, acronym, image, phrase, or sentence.
Remember “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”?
Mnemonics help us remember facts and are particularly useful when the order of things is important.
1 – Treating shock
“Face is red, raise the head; face is pale, raise the tail.”
2 – Warning signs of a stroke
Face – One side of smile droops.
Arms – Do they have equal strength?
Speech – Is it slurred?
Time – If you observe these, get them to a hospital quick.
3 – Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia
“Hot and dry, sugar high; cold and clammy, need some candy.”
4 – Dehydration
If you’re drinking enough water, your urine should be “Clear and Copious.”
5 – Poisonous plants
“Leaves of three, let it be.” Also, for the non-leafed seasons of the year, “Don’t touch the hairy vines!”
6 – Treating diarrhea
Switch to the BRAT or BRATTY diet:
Some like to add T and Y to get BRATTY:
7 – Using a fire extinguisher
Cool things off with the PASS technique:
Pull the pin
Aim at the base of the fire
Squeeze the trigger
Sweep across the fire
8 – Proper winter camping attire
Stay warm, but not too warm, by getting COLD:
Clean – dirty clothes lose their loft and get you cold.
Overheat – never get sweaty; strip off layers to stay warm but not too hot.
Layers – dress in synthetic layers for easy temperature control.
Dry – wet clothes (and sleeping bags) also lose their insulation.
9 – Diagnosing hypothermia
Look for the “umble” family. Does the person fumble, mumble, stumble, and grumble?
10 – Identifying poisonous snakes
Looking at the color of bands works for some varieties of snakes. Remember “red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, friend of Jack.”
12 – When you’re on fire
Just as we learned as kids: “stop, drop, and roll.”
13 – The ABCs of CPR
ABC in its original form stood for “Airway, Breathing, Circulation.”
Nearly all groups still use ABC in some form, but others add D for defibrillation using an AED.
14 – Determining a person’s medical history
This one is usually for the pros, but when interviewing a patient, take a SAMPLE:
Signs and Symptoms
Past medical history
Last oral intake
Events leading up to the injury and/or illness
15 – Signs of a fracture
Loss of function
Irregularities on the bone surface, such as depressions or lumps
Crepitus, a sound similar to scrunching a bag of frozen peas heard/felt when the two ends of a broken bone grate together
16 – Saving someone from drowning
“Reach, throw, row, go.” But others suggest starting with “talk.” “Always try to talk them back first.”
17 – Conditions that could cause unconsciousness
They’re summarized in the longest mnemonic of the article: FISH SHAPED.
19 – How to treat a sprained ankle or other body part
Rest the injured area. Ice the sprain. Compress with wrap or bandage. Elevate the injured area.
20 – An essential rule of camping
“Dark sky at night, you’re up too late; Dark sky in the morning, you are up too early.”
Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.