But since even then, all we saw was that finger wag, here’s what you need to know:
[T]he key to survival is getting into the proper brace position: Bend forward as far as possible, keep your head down. Place your feet flat on the floor and slide them back.
Your dominant hand goes on the back of your head. Protect that hand by placing the other hand over it. Do not interlock fingers. The goal is to ensure that the bones in the stronger hand aren’t broken so you can eventually unbuckle the seatbelt.
…All passengers should think about an emergency during the safety demonstration. Use that time to look for the nearest exit, plus an alternative one. Check where the life vest is and practice unbuckling the seatbelt to build a bit of muscle memory.
There were other safety tidbits dispensed that day. Red lights always signal an exit because the color cuts through smoke the best. Always inflate life vests outside the plane; they can limit mobility in a tight space and if water fills the cabin, passengers with inflated vests can be pressed up against the ceiling, unable to swim down to the door.
I hope none of us never need it! And I always do look at the exits and count rows in case I can’t see. I think I’ve buckled and unbuckled enough to have the muscle memory. But I didn’t really know to put my ‘dominant hand’ underneath the other one. And I probably would have intelocked fingers, so good to know not to do this and the reason why!