A friend brought to my attention an insightful BBC article entitled What Not to Do in a Disaster. Below I’ll share highlights. Read the full article by clicking on its title.
A quote sums up the main point. “Survival is less about heroic actions than avoiding mindless mistakes.”
Experts note people don’t often make good decisions when under the pressure a disaster brings. Brain fog can hit each of us. Many times survivors make it through a plane crash or earthquake in spite of themselves.
The trick is knowing what not to do when the chips are down.
Here’s what usually happens. Notice how closely related these points are.
- Freezing, or doing nothing. It’s a surprisingly natural response.
- Inability to think. We may not be able to think through or remember our options fast enough to take action.
- Tunnel vision. We become locked into thinking a certain way. Our focus is too narrow.
- Staying stuck in routine. We want to do the things we’re used to. An example would be grabbing for our wallet even when leving our burning house. New situations are taxing, and doing the routine seems to free up mental space for dealing with the new situation.
- Denial. We want to ignore the danger or we can’t believe it’s happening. We’re not able to accurately assess the risk.
With these points in mind, what should we do?
- Have a plan.
- Practice what you need to do to survive.
The article concludes by noting good luck sometimes enters the picture.
I prefer to think of it as divine providence.
But don’t count on that. Prepare to the best of your ability now, both physically, mentally and spiritually. Hopefully, you can avoid the mistakes most of us are prone to make.
Remember, think survival.