Tips for Staying Calm in an Emergency

People tend to go to one of two extremes in an emergency situation: They are either washed over by a feeling of calm, assessing the situation and confidently giving direction, or they panic, yell and scream.


With the right mindset and knowledge of what to do in these cases, anyone can remain calm and in control in an emergency. Staying cool and collected can mean the difference between life or death.

It’s important not to be paralyzed by fear and instead have the resources and wits about you to keep calm when things go wrong.

Here are some general tips for how to stay calm in an emergency:

Educate yourself

The best thing you can do to keep yourself collected is to have the knowledge of what things can go wrong and what you can do to get yourself and your family through an emergency.

Learn some basic first aid techniques, prepare yourself with supplies and learn basic survival skills. If you are confident, you are in control.

Focus on the goal

An emergency can be overwhelming, especially if the odds of survival aren’t looking good. But focus only on the task at hand and tune everything else out.  If your house is on fire, for example, only think about getting people out.

Think only about the routes you will take to exit the house.

Breathe in, breathe out

When your body naturally enters an emergency “fight or flight” mode, don’t panic. If you start breathing rapidly and out of control, take a few moments to concentrate on deliberately taking long, deep breaths. It’s important to stay in control of your breathing.

Be brave and bold

In society, we are taught to follow the rules and stay within the accepted social norms. In an emergency situation, none of this applies.

If you need to take extreme measures like disturbing the peace to get help, bark commands at complete strangers, rip off expensive clothing or take charge of another person’s property in order to save lives, do it.