When we look at the definitions of what is considered a ‘big’ or ‘small’ emergency, one of the main criteria for the former is the after-effects thereof. A small emergency is one that can be handled immediately, whereas a big emergency will have more complications.
For example, say your car runs out of gas at the side of the road and you need to walk 20 miles to the next gas station. That, for some, may be a rather small emergency because you simply walk the distance, get the gas, and are back on your way.
However, when we look at a car accident, we find that the emergency encompasses the actual accident, the effect on those involved, and whether serious medical intervention is required.
Needless to say, it is of paramount importance that you are always prepared. It does not matter whether you think an emergency will happen or not. If you can think of it, prepare for it!
Emergency Preparation—Your Number One Go-To Strategy!
Emergencies can happen at any place or time. You may let the knife slip, and your finger is wounded rather deeply. Alternatively, you could slip down the stairs and severely twist your ankle. Emergencies, whether big or small, are always around us.
However, depending on the type of activities you partake in, you may be at greater risk of certain emergencies. After all, if you don’t like hiking, you’ll find yourself less likely to be involved in a hiking-based emergency.
That said, motor vehicle accidents are not impossible even if you don’t have a car, as you could be using public transport or traveling with a friend when a collision occurs. Nobody is entirely exempt from emergencies!
Preparing for emergencies makes potential experiences less stressful and will most likely provide a better outcome! Imagine falling off a small cliff and breaking a bone. If you don’t have a sling or know how to make one, any movement will cause pain.
Being prepared is not only about ensuring the worst possible outcome is prevented but also about lessening the trauma that those involved face. Mental health issues after emergencies are common, and most of the time, it is due to lack of preparedness.
Most Common Emergencies
Injuries, whether you are out for a walk in the garden or climbing up a mountain, are extremely common. Although we hope that you don’t have snakes in your yard, animal bites are one of the most common reasons to visit the Emergency Room.
Typically, snake and dog bites are not only unexpected but are more common than we like to admit. This is one of the reasons that you should know how to immediately deal with bites, stabilizing the victim until they can seek professional medical care.
Moreover, you may find yourself camping in a wildlife park, where bears and baboons roam freely. You don’t want to get in a tussle with these folk. We recommend having a basic knowledge of how to deal with any such encounter!
Car accidents, too, can leave you seeing stars. The shock of actually having been involved in one usually outweighs our degree of rational thought when involved in a situation like this.
The more you are prepared, though, the less you need to think and the better you will respond in the situation. It is scary to think about, but in our opinion, it is even more scary to think about the accident occurring when we were not prepared!
If you live in a country that is prone to floods (perhaps as a result of poor drainage systems), you may find yourself faced with flood warnings and potential landslides. These sorts of emergencies are more common than you think.
Meticulous preparation, especially where water is involved, changes the approach we need to take! Waterproofing the equipment in your emergency bag (or buying a waterproof bag) is the first step!
Hurricanes, earthquakes, and typhoons require additional strategies. Because you never know when they are going to hit, you need to use the history of them in your area in order to adequately prepare for them.
This is where technology gives us a bit of an advantage, especially as it helps us to detect when these natural disasters are going to hit. This not only gives us time to organize our thoughts but to mentally prepare ourselves for the inevitable disaster.
Strategy—Mind Over Matter, Brains Over Brawn
We know that it is easy to say that you need to ‘think’ during an emergency, especially when you aren’t faced with an emergency. However, clearing your mind and focusing on the end-goal of surviving needs to be at the forefront of your brain.
The one aspect about emergencies that always remains stress-inducing is their degree of unpredictability. The fear of not knowing how an emergency will play out, or change your life, is what can cause us to think irrationally.
Therefore, take a moment to calm yourself down rather than running around aimlessly for minutes, not achieving anything. Depending on the type of emergency, you may need to find a way to ignore the screams and focus on survival.
Like we alluded to above, you may be faced with any emergency at any time. However, that does not mean you need a storage room with 20 different bags, each tailored to a different emergency.
We recommend creating one or two different types of emergency bags that have common necessities and a few specifics. For instance, ensure both have a first aid kit! For a hike, pack a torch and a shovel. For a natural disaster, non-perishable food is a must-have!
Generally, people get so stuck on the specifics that they forget the most important parts of an emergency kit: clothes, medication, chargers (where applicable), and toiletries are the most frequently forgotten constituents of an emergency kit!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: If I prepare for large-scale emergencies, do I still have to prepare for small-scale ones?
A: If you are able to use the contents of the kit for your large-scale emergency for the small-scale emergency, then definitely! What we will recommend is having a small bag in your large-scale emergency kit.
The reason for this is so that instead of lugging a bigger bag around, you can seamlessly remove a tinier emergency kit and simply put it back if it’s not necessary.
Q: What is the one item that there is no compromise about getting?
A: Make sure that you have a fully stocked first aid kit! Many of the newer kits come with a few protein bars and vitamin shots, which not only make sure you have something to munch on but that you are prepared for any injuries that may occur.
Q: What level of preparedness is required for a family in comparison to someone who is single?
A: Preparation on a larger scale will definitely be necessary. However, it also depends on who is attending. The type of preparations you make for the elderly will be vastly different when compared to preparations you make for an infant.
However, the basics remain standardized. Make sure you have non-perishable food for all parties, first aid kit, clothes, drinking water for 72 hours, and—where possible—technology with built-in GPS capabilities.
Q: Should I really bother preparing for emergencies?
A: Yes! This should not even be a question. You may never encounter an emergency. However, you could be rather unfortunate and encounter one in a month. We just never know. It is this degree of uncertainty that causes anxiety in many individuals.
With the level of preparedness having a direct effect on an emergency’s outcome, knowing that you are prepared, even if you never use your kit, will make you sleep easier at night!
Emergency Preparation, In Summary
Being prepared can save not only your life but also the lives of those you care the most about! You don’t want to be living with any form of regret, thinking: “If only I was more prepared.”
Emergency preparation, when done correctly, will promote a positive sense of mental health within yourself and those around you. It will decrease any form of anxiety that you are experiencing when you need to travel or are going out on a group adventure.
You don’t need to buy an entire outdoor warehouse. However, you need to take some time to think critically about your greatest needs and ensure that these will be accounted for, should any emergency present itself.