Ask any expert what the most important part of preparing for an emergency is and they will tell you it is staying calm when everything and everyone around you is chaotic. Some people think staying calm in tense or unexpected situations is a gift; some have it and some don’t, and while there may be a kernel of truth in that assessment, being prepared for the emergency you are facing factors into things, as well. When disaster strikes your family or your neighborhood, run through this mental checklist below and you’ll have a better chance of staying in control.
Your Safety Comes First
Before you can check in on the status of your home or your family during an emergency, you need to make sure that you yourself are safe and able to move on to other concerns. No matter how much you want to play the hero, if you have found yourself in a precarious situation, such as in a room that has a raging fire on the other side or in a building that is near collapse because of an earthquake, you are the one that needs to be rescued. If you try to put others first, you could make the situation worse for others.
Check on Your Family
Once you have secured your own safety, it is time to move on to the safety of those around you. Again, staying calm means being able to assess the situation around you. If you can round up everyone in your home and get to safety, do it, but risking your own safety to save another person only puts two of you in danger instead of one. We often hear about people doing heroic things on the news, but for every one person who succeeds, there are just as many, if not more, that fail. Think logically, not emotionally.
Time to help others
Once you have secured your own safety and the safety of your immediate family or those immediately around you, it may be time to evaluate the safety of those in your area. If you have experienced an earthquake or a tornado, there could be mass devastation. Check in with those in your neighborhood that live alone and may need help extracting themselves from their homes. Once again, don’t endanger your own life in hopes of helping someone else. There are emergency response teams that have the proper equipment and training that can handle these situations.