Part of the purpose of this blog is to give helpful advice to a broad spectrum of people. I do volunteer work in my community and support a number of charitable institutions in my home town of Salem. However, I wanted to go a bit beyond the area and share my experiences with others who seek a friendly voice from a real person. As such, today I want to address emergencies because we are all subject to them and don’t always know how to cope. You can get all sorts of helpful information online about what to do, and what equipment to keep around the house; but what you don’t get is emotional support and guidance. Part of my personal salvation is to give layman’s counsel from someone who has sifted through the mass of material to help people cope with tough situations.
Emergencies can be dire as with auto accidents, severe illness, earthquakes and fires among other natural disasters. Fortunately, some are not that drastic as when the water heater breaks or your car needs repairs you can’t afford. Whatever happens to you, it is important to stay calm and survey the scene to do the right thing without panicking. I have a friend whose water heater broke and she ran screaming from the house, forgetting the baby in the crib. Okay, this is extreme, but when your emotions run away with you, your brain stops functioning at an optimal level.
There is always a solution at hand, even if it means calling 911 or the professionals such as a plumber for water heater repair or to replace it with a new tankless model from Water Heater Watch. Take a minute to breath and assess the seriousness of the problem on a scale of one to ten. From one to four, you can probably handle the emergency yourself. You may have to act quickly, but you might save the day if no one is injured or harmed. Flooding from a broken water heater demands shutting it down and a big mop.
When a real crisis looms, fast thinking often results in fewer negative consequences. Succumbing to your “fight or flight” instinct might make things worse. Thus, when an emergency strikes, STOP AND THINK. Most of us have been trained in simple first aid or household safety. If you have prepared well in advance, your chances of an emergency will be lower and your ability to respond higher. Some of the things we forget are:
- Keeping supplies on hand for earthquakes, snow days, or loss of power
- 3 months’ worth of bottled water and dried food
- Extra towels. They are good for water leak cleanup, stuffing under door cracks in case of fire, or useful as blankets.
- Batteries for your jumbo flashlight. Make sure it is all in an easy place to access.
- Antiseptic for bug bites and antihistamine for sudden allergies
Sure, there are lots of other preparatory measures; but the point is that you can be in control in an emergency, or at least stay calm while help arrives.