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Emergencies are often sudden and completely unpredictable.  And while we often think we know how to deal with unexpected circumstances, the shock of an emergency can make us think and act irrationally, which can be dangerous.  These points will help you prepare for an emergency if one should occur.

Plan ahead

While emergencies cannot usually be predicted, we can prepare ourselves for the eventuality.  Take the time to think about what things might happen in your life that could have dangerous consequences.  Events like stove fires, gas leaks, and electrical problems are all things we can prepare for.  Make sure you know what you should do in disaster situations.  Also, ensure the necessary emergency supplies like fire extinguishers and first aid kits are available at all times and that you are familiar with how to use them.

Stay calm

Hospital Emergency sign

If an emergency does occur, the most dangerous thing you can do is panic.  Keep calm and take deep breaths.  If you don’t think you can handle the emergency without help, then call 911 and stay on the line while the responder talks you through what you should do.

Be decisive

Although emergencies generally require quick action, take the time to think about your decisions.  Act rapidly, but not so fast that you lose your calm.  As hard as it may seem, think logically about what needs to happen and how you can accomplish that.  Then commit to your decision and follow through.

Care for any wounded

If anyone has been injured, do not leave them unless absolutely necessary.  Call 911 as soon as possible and explain the situation.  Unless you are a doctor or trained emergency worker, do not try to correct injuries or move the injured person yourself.  Simply keep them calm and stop any bleeding until the professionals arrive.

Emergencies can be scary, but if you follow these guidelines, your preparedness can help save your life and the lives of others.