Life can be unpredictable. While your chances of facing a serious emergency are low, it’s important to be prepared for anything, whether it’s a fire, pandemic, or car accident. Many people suffer in emergencies because they aren’t prepared. Quick thinking and help from those with knowledge, training, or experience can often mean the difference between life and death.
Regardless of the type of emergency, it’s important to react quickly yet stay calm. While the rush of adrenaline in an emergency can help your body respond faster, you should also try to think clearly.
It can be easy to panic when an epidemic develops into a pandemic. However, it’s best to relax and follow the necessary precautions until a vaccine is developed to control the situation. Here are some tips to help you deal with an outbreak:
- Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or with soap and water. Remember to wash for at least two minutes and to clean your fingers thoroughly, including your nails.
- Keep a safe distance of at least three feet between yourself and someone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth frequently, especially when outside your home. If the virus is on your hands, it could enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze and dispose of it quickly and safely. Alternatively, you can sneeze into your elbow to avoid contaminating your hands.
- A special mask called the N95 respirator may protect you against certain viruses. However, a common surgical mask will offer no protection according to Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.
- Read up on the symptoms of the pandemic. If you have any of them, then seek medical attention immediately.
2. Residential Fire
Thousands are killed while tens of thousands of people are injured by fire every year. Sadly, many of these casualties were avoidable. By preparing your home, you can greatly improve the chances of your family surviving a fire.
- Sit down with your family and develop an emergency plan. Identify all exits and develop two escape routes. Your primary route may not work if there are fire and smoke in the hallway. If you’re on the lower floor, then the balcony or window can be used as an emergency exit with the right tools.
- Attend a training seminar with your family to learn how to deal with a fire. It’s best to get out fast, stay low, and to check doors for heat before opening them. If you catch fire, then stop, drop, and roll to extinguish the flames.
- If you live in an apartment, then never use the elevator during a fire. Instead, use the fire exit to evacuate safely.
- Have the necessary tools at home to help you in such an emergency. There should be working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in bedrooms, kitchens, and hallways. Fire extinguishers should be placed in key areas of the house and everyone in the household should know how to use them. Likewise, fire blankets can help protect you from bodily harm during an evacuation. These are made of flame retardant materials and can save lives.
- Be particularly mindful of vulnerable members of your household. Children, seniors, and people with reduced mobility will need extra support during an evacuation. The evacuation chair from Evacuscape is an excellent tool to help people with reduced mobility such as the disabled, patients, seniors, pregnant women, and others evacuate during an emergency. This chair is mobile, easily trainable and made of high-quality materials. People with reduced mobility are far more likely to perish in a fire and an evacuation chair can improve their chances of escaping safely.
One of the best ways to fight a fire is prevention. Food that’s being cooked should never be left unattended and you should know how to fight a grease fire. Never leave burning cigarettes or candles accessible to children. Make sure that the wiring in your home is in pristine condition and don’t overload electrical sockets with multiple power-hungry appliances.
If you’re outside your home while it’s on fire, then call the emergency number immediately. Calmly give them your full address and details of the fire and wait for help from the professionals.
3. Auto Accidents
The first thing you should do if your vehicle was involved in an accident is to stop the car and stay at the scene, or you may be prosecuted. If the damage is minor, then call the nearest Collision Reporting Centre within 24 hours. If anyone is injured or there’s serious damage, then call the emergency number immediately.
Wait for the professionals to arrive and avoid moving the injured. Doing so may exacerbate their injuries. However, you may move the injured if they’re in immediate danger. Usually, it’s best to wait for instructions from the emergency operator.
Turn the hazard lights on after a collision to warn other drivers. You can also use traffic cones or a flare if needed. Get out of the car if it’s safe. If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident with your phone. When everything is under control, call your insurance company quickly. They will send someone to evaluate the accident and may even offer towing and transportation services.
Avoid arguing with passengers, drivers, and witnesses at the accident. Only give your side of the story to the police. Likewise, avoid assuming liability. Let the insurance companies sort it out. Be wary if a random tow truck arrives to offer services. Many predatory tow truck companies will hold your property hostage until you pay an unreasonable sum of money.
Have the following items in your car to be ready for road emergencies:
- Pen and paper
- Insurance documents
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Traffic cones
- Spare tire
- Clean towel
- Clean blanket
- Bottled water
These are three emergencies that you should be prepared for. Your ability to deal with bad luck can improve the likelihood of a positive outcome.