You know when some people say that emergencies happen the least expect them, it only means that you have to be ready for what may occur. Emergencies are categorised into natural, technological and man-made.
Natural emergencies include fire, earthquake, flood, storm, and other calamities. Technological emergencies pertain to building explosions, vehicular malfunctions resulting in fatalities, collapsing of bridges and other similar disasters. And man-made emergencies are caused by the malicious intent of people such as terrorism, serious criminal offences, rallies resulting in riots and other exigencies.
So, if you are faced with any of these catastrophes, you should know what to do. Whether it is you or your loved one who is in danger, it is important to be ready and be able to get out of the situation alive.
How to Handle an Emergency
When you are faced with an emergency, the very first thing that you should do is to calm yourself, breathe and count 1 to 10. You may find this hilarious or probably inappropriate for the situation but that’s not really the case.
So, just breathe and count 1 to 10, you’ll be surprised to find yourself composed and ready for the situation. It helps to make sure that you are ready and you have a clear mind.
Here are 5 easy steps in handling an emergency:
1. Determine the Nature of Emergency
The first step to handling an emergency is to determine the nature of the emergency, whether it is natural, technological or man-made. Take time to think about ways to keep yourself and the people around you safe.
Always remember the evacuation plans during your drills and emergency orientations, especially for workplaces. Depending on the type of emergency that you are facing, you may need to act swiftly and intelligently.
Let’s say, the emergency is an earthquake. This is a natural disaster that would require you to drop-cover-hold while it is happening. And once the shaking is over, you should evacuate the building with utmost caution.
If the emergency is man-made, say a street rally that turned into a riot with some casualties. What you need to do is to find a safe place that you can run to and hide for the time being.
2. Call for Additional Assistance
After keeping yourself and the people around you safe and you feel like you need further assistance like an ambulance, police or the fire department, do not hesitate and make the call.
If you are unsure what number to call, simply dial triple zero (000). This is the emergency hotline for Australia. Remember to NEVER dial the emergency hotline for prank calls.
When you are in the call, continue to remain calm, so you could think and answer the questions of the person on the other line. Make sure to provide clear information. This way, help is sure to come faster.
For example, you received a bomb scare at work. Again, remember to stay calm, breathe and keep the call until you get the information about the threat. After the call, continue to stay calm, dial “000” and relay all the information you got from the bomb threat. This way you can receive the help ASAP.
3. Perform Necessary First Aid
After understanding the situation and if you are safe, look around and check on other people. If anyone is hurt and you are familiar with first aid procedures, it may be your time to shine. Find the first aid kit, dress wounds and bandage them.
If somebody is unconscious, check if he or she is breathing and try to wake him or her up. If CPR is needed, make sure you know how before performing it, otherwise call for someone else who has taken CPR training and first aid courses. A CPR gone wrong may result into a more serious condition.
If a workmate is injured, check the severity of the injury. Remember not to move anyone with a broken spine as it may result in a more dangerous situation. When everyone is accounted for and if possible, try to evaluate together. If you seem to be trapped, simply wait for the help you called for.
4. Think of the Bigger Picture
When facing emergencies, it truly helps to stay calm and think straight. Always look at the bigger picture. Sometimes the disaster itself may not be the biggest problem you are facing the moment.
Would you believe me if I tell you, that sometimes in an emergency, the route to escaping it can be more dangerous than the disaster itself?
Imagine this, you are trapped on the third floor of the building because of a strong storm that also caused flash floods. Immediate help is not possible because of the situation. So, you think of escaping – probably you thought of building a boat or perhaps swim through the flood.
The thing is, even if you are the best swimmer in the world, swimming through the flood may be more difficult than you think. You have to fight your way through the current and perhaps the dirt and trash that may come with the flood.
Now, don’t you think staying dry and safe in the third floor is a better option?
Always remember that the goal during emergencies is to keep yourself safe.
5. Wait and Proceed
The last step is to simply wait for rescuers to come. Whether you are trapped inside or out in the rally point of the building, simply wait and proceed only when it’s safe to do so.
Stay close to people with injuries so you can assist them in their ordeals. You can also provide the necessary information to rescuers later on about those who are injured, especially if it was you who administered the first aid.
When everything is clear, you can ask your supervisor or the rescuers if you’re free to go. In most cases, you will be assisted by authorities or those appointed in your workplace in going home.
Remember that whether you are faced with an emergency or not, it helps to know what steps you should take to keep yourself and the people around safe.
Contact Workplace Emergency Management to learn more about handling emergencies!