A sound, louder than a million doors, accidentally closed by the wind. Lifehacks from the girl whose house was destroyed in Kyiv

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photo from Tamara Mamchenko’s Facebook

photo from Tamara Mamchenko’s Facebook

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On March 16, a missile hit the house of Tamara Mamchenko from Kyiv. Fortunately, there were no victims thanks to the good organization of the residents. Now, the girl is sharing life hacks to warn others.

We slept in the hallway. There was a repeated missile hit in the house. And not only in our one, as it turned out later. At the moment of the hit, there was such a loud sound – louder than a million doors, accidentally closed by the wind.

It’s better not to sleep in a bed. The blast wave throws glass, metal and pieces of plaster all around. Staying in the hallway or bathroom will reduce the injures from the shrapnel if you do not have the opportunity to go down to the bomb shelter.

After the first explosions, make sure they are over for another 3-5 minutes. In my case, unfortunately, they were repeated. Put on your jacket, take your briefcase and make sure the front door is not jammed and there is no fire.

Go outside only on the stairs. For example, the State Emergency Service, the police, the ambulance, and even the Red Cross tent with tea were already waiting for me. And this was 10 minutes after the explosion.

Observe the neighbours around. Remember who is abscence, and at the same time make a roll call in the chat room of the house, which residents are there and who had left. My grandmother, for example, told firefighters to pick up a 93-year-old deaf neighbour. They passed it on the walkie-talkie – and in two minutes, he was downstairs.

Then, a psychologist may help you. The City Council also arrives immediately and organizes a headquarters for the victims, interviews with police, compiling lists of residents and moving to temporary housing.

Here are some tips that helped us prepare. Everything in the house and my family was organized and prepared with minimal losses except for the fire. This relates to the blast wave.

1. Seal all windows, doors with glass, sideboards. With an explosive wave, they would be demolished in large fragments under the window, not small pieces in the apartment.

2. Remove all items from surfaces in the apartment that are at least above your chest. They won’t fly on the walls and on the head. Remove mirrors from glass lampshades from chandeliers.

3. Remove and place all the service items from the cupboard on the floor in a box. They can burst.

4. Prepare lamina, chipboard, sheet or carpet to close the window that fell from the explosion.

5. Discuss the evacuation plan from the house, the procedure and direction of escaping from it with the family. We also had this in the chat at home, as Kyiv has recently become a hot spot.

6. And most importantly – pack things: a quick evacuation briefcase and a bag with things to take with you after a shelling or fire.


  • Find a briefcase to put on the shoulders of your grandparents. They will walk, holding a stick, so pack or a bag would interfere them moving.
  • Old people start to walk badly due to stress, even if they haven’t walked with a cane before.
  • Put in a briefcase: documents, a light blanket, water, snack.

7. Always keep things near the door.»

By Tamara Mamchenko, translated by Vitalii Holich

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Lviv Now is an English-language website for Lviv, Ukraine’s «tech-friendly cultural hub.» It is produced by Tvoe Misto («Your City») media-hub, which also hosts regular problem-solving public forums to benefit the city and its people.


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