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The How-To Lounge: Emergency Situations

It's scary to think about, but emergency situations do present themselves in our lives from time to time. And knowing how to handle them calmly and efficiently is extremely important and can even mean the difference between life and death. Though no one can guarantee how they’ll respond to a situation until they find themselves there, I’ve come up with a few tips should something arise. To see them just


  • Don’t panic. (I know, I know; it’s an obvious suggestion that’s a lot easier said than done.) The sensation of panic is one of a physical nature — heart racing, sweaty palms, rapid breathing — but instead of focusing on your body like you might naturally be inclined to do, draw all your attention to the scene around you. Think first, and react later.
  • Once you’ve pulled yourself together, start listing off what needs to be done in order of urgency. Does someone need medical attention? If so, is it necessary to call 911 or can you just drive them to the hospital? Making a quick assessment will keep the chaos to a minimum and again, help you to avoid panicking.
  • Use teamwork. It’s likely that the people around you have experience you don’t, so pull all that knowledge together to come up with a solution.
  • On that note, don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. The support of another person can really make a difference.
  • Make every effort to act as quickly as possible. While taking a few minutes to come up with a solution or plan is important, dilly-dallying over a serious decision is not an option. You’ll never have a right answer, so just make a choice and stick with it.
  • Remove the people who aren’t handling things well, even if that requires physically sending them away. They’ll only make the situation that much worse.
  • If you can manage to keep your cool, you might be surprised at how quickly a situation can change from emergency to managed.


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