Do You Keep Your Cool in Emergencies?

United States
June 27, 2010 5:15pm CST
Yesterday, our stove caught on fire from a rodent-chewed wire. It was terrifying, but I discovered that in a fire emergency, I thought and acted calmly and rationly in getting my handicapped husband, our child and pets out of and away from the house. Upon finding the last tenants left the fire extinguishers empty, I remembered flour and baking soda kill electrical fires and proceeded to dump flour on it, while calling 911. Do you know what you would do in an emergency? Do you have a plan of exits for each family member? Do you have full fire extinguishers so you aren't surprised to find them empty as I was? Do you know what to do in case of tornadoes and other massive wind storms? Do you take your family through drills so no one makes the mistake of hiding under a bed if there is a fire?
3 people like this
10 responses
@chertsy (3817)
• United States
27 Jun 10
I depends on the emergency if I can stay cool and collected. I know how to deal with a lot of household emergencies. I know what do in case of a tornado. Now when it came to flooding. Like we had the first couple of days in May. I lost it, I was freaking out bad. The water crossed the road and was in my front yard before I could even blink. When it got up to my front porch, I really lost it. I started to panic really bad. Now on the 2nd day of the flooding, I was ok. I had to be, the flooding was actually worse, because the ground was already wet from the day before. I actually had to wade through it to get my landscaping bricks to put around the house to keep the water from going into my home. That is something I don't ever want to deal with again. My kids know the drills in case of a fire. Luckily we have fire alarms all through out the house. I do need to look into getting one of those ladders in case they can't get down the stairs. I would probably be cool during a house fire, but then later freak out after I lost everything.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Jun 10
Sounds to me like, when push comes to shove, you are there ready to solve the problem instead of creating more. I think I'd like you on my side during an emergency. We could fall apart together after it's over! Did the water make it inside your home? Are you okay now?
1 person likes this
@chertsy (3817)
• United States
28 Jun 10
When it comes to things that I can fix, I don't flip out over. Growing up in the South, tornadoes are the norm. Flooding isn't, especially where I live now. I'm happy to say the water never got in my home. The landscaping bricks and mud kept the water off my porch. Luckily, I had friends, neighbors and complete strangers helping me that day. We are ok compared to other people that had their entire homes flooded like in Nashville, TN. Only damage we had was the things in the garage, but that took about 3 days of cleaning to get it back to normal. My back yard is all screwed up from rocks when the drainage system next to my house collapsed. The city got the rocks out and fixed my neighbors retaining wall. Only thing left is the drainage system, which I will be calling tomorrow about.
@chanlot (191)
• Indonesia
28 Jun 10
Where I live there are a lot of water in the creek, so if there is a fire in my house, I'll take plenty of water and pour into the burning house, because in my house has no fire extinguishers may be because I live in rural areas. yes of course .... If there is a fire I will take my family out of the house, but I do not think for a drill for my family to deal with house fires. I think humans will instinctively stay away from the fire if there is a fire without trained.
• United States
28 Jun 10
Not all humans instinctively stay away from fires. In fact, many children are killed because they hide in closets or under their beds and don't get out of the house. It's very important to teach them what to do in an emergency. Even in rural areas, you should have portable fire extinguishers in your home. Be sure they are good for every kind of fire. Some do not work on electrical ones.
@chanlot (191)
• Indonesia
28 Jun 10
Ok ... thanks for suggesting. I have so far not thought to have a fire extinguisher, maybe later I will think of to buy the instrument. thanks buddy...!
@alaskanray (4642)
• United States
27 Jun 10
I inherited my sense from my mother. She was always going ballistic over the little things, like bread crumbs left on the bread board, but whenever one of her kids had a major problem she was always cool. I found her to be my tower of strength when I needed someone in my corner the most. Now that I'm a parent, I'm finding that I'm like her. The little things bug me when they keep repeating over and over again with my daughter...like getting the dishes done every night instead of once a month! But if we have a real emergency I stay cool as a cucumber. Once we were driving through Canada out 65 miles from the nearest tow truck and our transmission blew on us. I never worried in that situation, even though we were stuck and the tow was going to be exorbitantly expensive, I somehow knew we would be okay. Within five minutes a trucker picked us up and took us to the nearest phone where we waited for something like two or three hours for the tow truck to come pick us up. When my sister kicked us out of her house, I was able to borrow money to purchase a second hand van and we lived in that van for two summers until I was able to get back on my feet again and find housing. Being homeless is never easy but it can be fun if you make it that way. I found that my attitude made all the difference between my being too stressed out to function and conquering the setbacks that had put us in that van.
• United States
28 Jun 10
Thanks...I guess growing up on the frontier makes a difference. I'm from some pretty sturdy pioneer stock and always loved camping so when we didn't have a home, we just went on an extended camping trip. Wheeeeee! Fun for us!
• United States
30 Jun 10
No I'm not a cool one in emergencies. I"m the one wigging out over it. That's where my hubby would take over... phew. We have had a few tornado's hit during the past 10 days but not in my town but surrounding communities. Quite scarey! We just chill in the basement til we either hear an all clear or the sirens stop going off.
• United States
30 Jun 10
In one year, my parents' and my sister's homes were destroyed by tornadoes. Within a five year period,their area became tornado alley in Alabama. Almost every house went from siding or wood to brick. Mom and Dad's neighbor lost his new barn four times. When he built a big shed instead, he never go hit again. Good luck. I hope those tornadoes stay at bay.
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
28 Jun 10
I know how to keep my cool in an emergency. With two children, you have to. Nothing can get accomplished when you allow panic to set in. The best thing is stay calm, alert and think with common sense. This should let you keep a cool head to tackle the situation at hand.
• United States
28 Jun 10
Your family is fortunate to have a cool, level head like yours with them. You're right that parents, especially need to stay calm through everything. My mom was always able to hold it together in medical emergencies, but my dad was at a loss. When a severe stomachache made me leave work, Daddy took me home - thirty miles away. Mama took one look at me and told him to get me to the hospital ASAP and she would follow with clothes. Fifteen minutes later she came out of the house to find us still sitting in the truck. Daddy couldn't bring himself to drive until she was in the truck guiding him. The same thing happened when my brother and I were in an accident two hours from home. Daddy took four hours to reach us because he traveled in circles until Mama took over the map.
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
28 Jun 10
For me yes it is better to do that than to rattle because you have many thing's to do and no pain.
• United States
28 Jun 10
Keeping busy taking care of a problem definitely beats over-thinking it and scaring ourselves into inaction.
@balasri (26577)
• India
28 Jun 10
I don't think that I can keep my cool in emergencies.I am a very sensitive person and always reacts instantly to any event.Well emergencies keep my nerves on end always.I got to learn to be cool and calculative.I don't know when this learning process is going to be over.
• United States
28 Jun 10
Like all of life's lessons, it is an ongoing process as long as we live and breathe. I'm 62 and was surprised to find how clearly I thought about each part of the process. I'm not sure any of us knows how we will react to a specific situation until put in that position.
• United States
28 Jun 10
No i dnt on last sunday my little cousin stuck somehtin into the socket in the wall and he had to be rushed to the hospital.I totally paniced and fell out .I really dnt take bad news well but i think i need to try
• United States
28 Jun 10
Good luck in working on improving that reaction. Everyone needs a strong person in an emergency. People who panic make a bad situation much worse.
@Jstewart (167)
• United States
27 Jun 10
I have heard some amazing stories of pepole who keep a real calm head when things go south. From what I have noticed it seems that individuals with loved ones can really pull things together in tragic situations. It really is amazing to see pepole who you would not expect to handel the situation really end up being the hero. I don't really have a family but I do remember my momther going over what to do in case somting were to happen, such as a fire or a break-in.
• United States
28 Jun 10
Heroes come from frightened people taking action instead of sitting in one spot whining. I've watched family, friends and neighbors come through things and wondered how they ever survived. I think I understand now. Even when the body is yelling Panic!; the brain is saying 'That would be really stupid. Get a grip!' If you listen to the calmness, it pulls you through.
@hanuma34 (821)
• India
28 Jun 10
That was indeed a brave and collected approach. I learnt something in your posting - the flour and baking soda trick. Thanks for that. Yes, you are right. One should have knowledge of all such tricks for different types of emergencies. But what happens most of the time is the persons tend to lose composure and these tricks do not strike on the spur of the moment. So the first thing is to keep cool and act fast with whichever best idea one can get. You have done excellently from all angles. Congrats.