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How Do You Handle Emergencies?

emergencywriting prompt

Emergency! That’s a word that’s enough to instill fear in many of us. Even more so for us Indians who’ve lived through times of Emergency in the country.

An earthquake, a flood, an accident, a bombing, a murder, the sudden death of loved ones – these are all events that by their very nature shock us.

Be prepared” works as a good motto for the Boy Scouts, but can any of us be truly prepared for an emergency when it happens?  I believe that some of us are better wired to act decisively in an emergency – we have a natural instinct to be cool and to think rationally.  My brother is an example of  a real cool head in an emergency. I remember when a neighbor in the building behind ours set himself on fire, before any of us realized what was happening, my brother was in the next house and wrapping the man in blankets.  When he was in an accident, where he was riding in the front next to the driver, he managed to break out of the car and climb on to the road and call for help.

A cool head alright, but my brother is one of the most ‘prepared-for-an-emergency’ guys I know.  You should see his bags when he’s taking a road trip or one of his outdoor travels.  Why even on ‘ordinary’ days, you’ll never find him without a good pen-knife.  I’ve learned a few things from my brother and my Mom.  For example, I almost always have a band-aid, a safety-pin, a pen, a notebook on me when I move out of the house. You never know when you’ll need one!

I’ve come to the conclusion that being calm in an emergency also comes with the confidence of being prepared.

Talking about preparation, I do think that it’s important to be  prepared for an emergency physically but also emotionally and spiritually.

How do you handle emergencies? With a cool head? Do you think you’re well prepared for emergencies?


This is my response to Write Tribe Prompt # 1

Write Tribe Prompt


Picture credit: Morgue File



  1. What Would You Do What Would You Do July 25, 2014

    […] empathy and act to help others. However, empathy alone does not suffice, a degree of competence to act in emergencies is also needed. This is something we must think about as parents, teachers and caring adults. We […]

  2. Viren Viren May 25, 2013

    The thought of emergencies scares many people I included and that is why a good number are ill prepared. I really admire your thoughts here Corinne and for sure this is the way to go.

  3. Anu Anu May 23, 2013

    Great post Corinne Rodrigues your post realy very helpful specially for me .thanks .

  4. Disha Disha May 22, 2013

    ooh God, it’s really hard question. I never think I do I handle emergencies but I just know when emergencies comes than time also come to cover emergencies.

  5. Shubham Somani Shubham Somani May 20, 2013

    Yes you are right….the first thing you said that, the word emergency is enough to make fear in mind….i like this because some times this is also happen with me…..i like this post..

  6. privytrifles privytrifles May 19, 2013

    The first thing I do in times of emergency is take a deep breath or two if needed and then plunge into ACTION ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Talya Tate Boerner Talya Tate Boerner May 18, 2013

    I think I am pretty calm in an emergency. Yesterday when my son was in a 4 car pileup and a truck flipped on top of his vehicle(!), I managed to remain calm. That was a test for sure! Luckily no one was injured.

  8. umashankar umashankar May 18, 2013

    Corinne, I am happy to report I handle emergencies rather well, except when I am in the middle of it! But isn’t that the real test? That is great food for thought.
    umashankar recently posted..The Man from Baker StreetMy Profile

  9. Michelle Liew Michelle Liew May 17, 2013

    Wow. We can never really be fully prepared, but I guess we can try! I have to admire your brother, though, Corrine! Love the signature you’ve put at the end of your post!

  10. Adriana Boatwright ( Adriana Boatwright ( May 17, 2013

    So I have noticed that I tend to stay freakishly calmed during emergencies and then like 2 days later I fall apart. :0)
    Adriana Boatwright ( recently posted..The New Song…My Profile

  11. Anne Anne May 16, 2013

    I think I’m okay with emergencies. I tend to have a cool head when things happen. I can usually react to unexpected things before anyone else does.
    Anne recently posted..Confidence building: You Can Do It!My Profile

  12. ushamenon ushamenon May 16, 2013

    Hi Corinne,
    This a not only an informative and educative post, but also very inspiring . One should maintain our cool in an emergency. Your Brother’s presence of mind is exemplary.

  13. Diana Pinto Diana Pinto May 16, 2013

    Yes it’s important to be prepared to handle emergencies, having been through it. Sometimes emotions tend to take over and we tend to panic, but a cool mind can prevent the situation from getting worse.

  14. b k chowla b k chowla May 16, 2013

    It is trtue that in India ,the systems for handling emergencies are not in place.
    Even Ambulances services are so reactive.What is the point if Ambulance arrives 45 mnts after the emergency occured.
    One must remain cool and hande it as best as one can at the given point of time
    b k chowla recently posted..WHAT’S THAT?My Profile

  15. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando May 16, 2013

    In emergencies, I’m usually capable of remaining calm. When we found out my daughter was at the hospital recently with the potential of miscarrying her baby, I chose to pray as we packed up for the drive home from the mountains. Although I was sad and worried, my head stayed clear. It was such a blessing as we had to keep Virginia overnight and she needed to see a calm and cheerful “Gammie.”
    Great food for thought in this post, Corinne!
    Love and blessings!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Choosing to LoveMy Profile

  16. Mary Stephenson Mary Stephenson May 15, 2013

    Hi Corinne

    When I worked in a warehouse I was always prepared with band-aids in my pockets, for either me or someone else. In the car I always have change and a 20 dollar bill also a number of other things. At home I have plenty of stuff for emergency.

    But I don’t handle blood real well. I cut my thumb on a freshly opened can and it was bleeding profusely. I know that cayenne pepper put on it stops the bleeding. The pain of the cut and the bleeding was pushing me to the limit I was about ready to pass out. I went over and got the cayenne out of the cupboard and got a spoon and poured it on top of the cut. It did not burn and the bleeding stopped. But I was still in pass out mode. My husband came into the kitchen and discovered what had happened. I was burning up and he took me out to the garage so I could lay down on the cement. After awhile I was okay. I kept cayenne on the thumb for a few days. Ended up healing with no scar as it was cut pretty deep. So my emergency for cuts is cayenne pepper, but I still have to get to it!

    My husband is the one that keeps calm, so as long as he is around I will be alright. Oh and it doesn’t have to be me with the issue, my daughter and my cat almost made me pass out. So I am not your go to person if you have an emergency with open wounds or possible surgery needs. Could have never been a nurse!

    Mary Stephenson recently posted..Failure Teaches What Is Really WrongMy Profile

  17. Kathy Kathy May 15, 2013

    I have unfortunately been tested on many occasions in my life. In those instances, I wasn’t prepared but I have an amazing knack of handling it, keeping my head, knowing what needs to be done, and doing it. Somehow I know what to do. I believe God tells me what to do and then gives me the strength to do it. I sometimes break down and cry after it is all over, but at the time I am game on!

    Kathy recently posted..Wordless Wednesday- Budding LilacsMy Profile

  18. Hiten Hiten May 15, 2013

    Hi Corinne,

    This was an interesting post on emergencies and got me thinking about how I would react in an emergency. Although I’m generally calm, I can get confused during panic periods. However, I think overall I would still remain fairly cool. Luckily, I have not had that many major emergencies yet.

    Thank you.
    Hiten recently posted..How to Make ConversationMy Profile

  19. Cathy Graham Cathy Graham May 15, 2013

    I’m not that great in emergencies and tend to panic and freeze, unsure of what action to take. I admire those who stay cool and calm during a crisis. Don’t know how they do it. I could never be a police officer, a paramedic or emergency room nurse. Luckily I haven’t had to face too many emergencies over the years but of course it can still happen. I find my hubs is good in a crisis and takes charge of the situation. The strange thing is that the day to day annoyances get to him and he grumbles and frets over things that aren’t worth grumbling and fretting about. In that scenario, I have him beat since I tune it all out and retreat into my daydream world of blogging, writing, and Facebook!

  20. raja raja May 15, 2013

    I think I could be reasonably calm in an emergency situation but it is only when I read this, I realise how woefully unprepared I am to deal with one.

    To be prepared, one should have the ambulance no. ready (or the emergency no,), have a first-aid kit ready (and training of course). I have none of this – so just being calm isn’t going to help much, is it? Got to get all this now organised – thanks for this wake-up call, Corinne. ๐Ÿ™‚
    raja recently posted..The ultimate reality-checkMy Profile

  21. G Angela G Angela May 15, 2013

    I remember my mother during lunch swallowed a mutton bone, which pricked her throat and she was struggling to bring it out, she made a ball of cooked rice without any curry and swallowed, after which she tried eating a banana,while she was making all attempts, I quickly took my bike, brought an auto and immediately hospitalized her, and on the same day the docs removed the bone from her throat.

    There have been many such incidents, when remaining calm, I managed with the bike and just moved out to what I must be doing. Emmanuel my son was sickly and very prone for respiratory problems, and I always kept the first aid box ready with everything needed.

    I do keep a pen and a small book, never thought of band aid and safety pin. Thanks for sharing …

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 24, 2013

      I thought I had responded to your comment earlier, Shilpa. My apologies.
      When you talked of dealing with an emergency, I recall reading your post about your son going ‘missing’ and all your actions and feelings during that time. I can see why you can relate to this.

  22. ajiteja ajiteja May 15, 2013

    Very true … Being prepared is to be calm and handle any situation is the only thing we can do….

  23. Debbie Debbie May 15, 2013

    My initial reaction is usually to panic, but then rational thinking returns. Hubby is always calm, cool and collected, which helps a lot! When it comes to travelling, I try to prepare for every possible scenario and always over pack. First aid kit, Needle & thread, safety pins, spot remover, travel iron, etc. Have never been faced with any real life-threatening situations, so, it’s hard to say what would happen.
    Debbie recently posted..PUSHING 60 AND GOING NATURAL: “GREY IS THE NEW BLONDE” UPDATEMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 15, 2013

      Glad you have Mr Cool in your family, Debbie. Do you think women panic more? Just asking….
      Like you say, we can only know when the time comes how we would react in a life-threatening situation.
      Don’t tell me about over-packing, I wrote the book! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..100 Words On Saturday – Week 10My Profile

  24. Melissa Melissa May 15, 2013

    I had BLS and ACLS training but I wasn’t able to use it in real life situations, we only practiced CPR with dummies. My trainer wanted me to be a part of the paramedics team in QC but I think it needs guts more than just knowledge to help people in life threatening situations. There were several instances in the hospital when I experienced emergencies (cardiac arrests, etc.) ~ and in those instances, the doctors were always there. I could troubleshoot in the dialysis area. It felt good resuscitating people back to life but I think I’ll not fare well in stressful situations. Well, I guess, I’ll really how I’ll react know when it happens.
    Melissa recently posted..Life Coaching: Some Reflections on the Purpose Driven LifeMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 15, 2013

      I think all your training will stand you in good stead if you were to be left alone to manage in an emergency. We must not forget that adrenaline also kicks in to aid our training/ preparedness.

  25. Bhavya Bhavya May 15, 2013

    It does help to be prepared for emergencies. And my mother too has taught me not to step out of the house without a pen, paper, safety pin and a band aid. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Bhavya recently posted..Prarthna : The Story of An AngelMy Profile

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 15, 2013

      Nice to hear that, Bhavya. I have a lot more in my bag – but I’m not telling here! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..Keep Life SimpleMy Profile

  26. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda May 15, 2013

    i prefer to handle emergencies by not having one whenever possible!

    i’m not that great in emergencies. especially if there’s blood. knowing this, i have been fortunate to find a partner, mr. c, who is much calmer and also has a calming impact on me. when i have to handle it — i do. when someone better is there to handle it. i have been known to faint.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 15, 2013

      There are some people who have a wonderfully calming effect and it’s nice to have them around. Glad Mr C is so.
      Haha..talking about fainting, Linda. Someday I’ll share my story here.
      Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..100 Words On Saturday – Week 10My Profile

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