Once upon a time, there was a telephone advertisement that said, "Reach out and touch someone." It was clever and catchy, but it was also good survival advice.
Fast forward to yesterday in Ercis, Turkey, where a 7.2 magnitude earthquake knocked down nearly 2,300 buildings, killing hundreds, injuring more than a thousand, and trapping a guy named Yalcin Akay (among hundreds of others). But what was so special about Yalcin Akay was that he reached out and touched someone, just like the ad said to do.
In his case, the someone he reached out and touched was the police department emergency operator. Trapped in a collapsed building, Akay used his cell phone to call for help. He knew where he was and had a clear understanding of the conditions around him. So he gave directions to the police and they were able to find him and save his life.
Others who were pulled from the rubble of buildings all over the city were found by luck. In my opinion, it's better not to rely too heavily on luck when your life is on the line. Having a cell phone with a charged battery can be a lifesaver.
Just ask Yalcin Akay next time you see him.