How to React in an Emergency

Sometime in out lives, we may encounter an emergency or other situation or disaster that we must take control of. A situation may range from a car crash to a glass of spilled milk. No matter what, it is important to remain calm to effectively deal with the situation.


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    Remain calm. Take a few deep breaths. This is mentioned in every article with the word "emergency" in it and it is necessary to properly deal with an emergency.
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    Keep people away from the site of the situation. This will keep the people involved/injured safe. Depending on the size and location of the situation, this may be easy or difficult.
    • If the emergency is outdoors and is large, such as a car accident and is on a road, you will need a large object to physically place in front of the site of the situation. Depending on the size of the situation, you may need to only block off one lane or you may need to block off both. The easiest way is to park your vehicle horizontally directly in front of the emergency. Stand beside it and signal to vehicles to move into the adjacent lane. If you are on a four lane road, obstruct two lanes in the direction heading toward the situation and signal to drivers to move into the center oncoming lane. Drivers should have enough common sense to move back into the correct lane when they pass the situation. If possible, get a friend to move oncoming traffic into the curb lane on the side of the road opposite of the emergency. See the diagram if you are confused.
      • If there are traffic cones nearby, do not be afraid of borrowing them. If there is a municipal truck nearby, you have hit the jackpot.
      • Move blockades aside as emergency crews arrive.
    • If the situation is indoors, things will be a little bit easier. Use chairs or other objects to close off the area. Appoint people to stand by the area to explain to others what is happening and to tell them to walk around. Wet floor signs are also good for this purpose.
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    Administer first aid to anyone requiring it.
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    Depending on the severity of the situation, call the local emergency phone number.
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    Use available resources to address and give directions to a large group of people. Use a building's public address system if necessary. Most phones in a large building have a button labelled PA that you can use to access it in a hurry. This is useful for saying, "Move along people, nothing to see here,"
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    As emergency crews begin to arrive, slowly get out of the way but stay nearby.


  • If you happen to have some caution tape in your car or on your person, now is a good time to use it. To be prepared for an emergency, consider purchasing some from your local hardware store and placing it in the trunk of your car so you will always have it if you need it.
  • Remember that it takes teamwork to handle an emergency properly. You will need to work together with people to get a situation stabilized. You will also need to do things that you would not normally do such as in steps two and five.
  • If possible, wear a reflective vest if you are going to direct traffic around the site of an emergency.
  • Also remember that in an emergency, you will have to appoint yourself in charge of a situation. Do not assume someone else will do it. YOU must do it first to prevent chaos.
  • When we say "emergency crews" in this article, it does not necessarily mean the people driving the cars with the fancy flashing lights. While emergency crews at a car accident are the police and paramedics, emergency crews at a milk spill may simply mean "the guy with the paper towels".


  • Use caution when blocking off a road.

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Categories: Stress Anxiety and Crisis Management