Reaction Plan

Today I confronted a personal emergency.  I’m sure you’ve all had some of these in your lifetime.  Here’s how mine went down…

  • Work Phone Rings
  • Hello, this is Tracy…how can I help you?
  • Hi Tracy, this is Grandma.
  • Grandma??  Um, why are you calling me at work?  Is everything ok?
  • Your Dad is in the ER.
  • Brain goes blank.  Brain sends out stress signals.  Brain needs help.

Everyone reacts to emergency situations in different ways.  Some of us shove emotion aside and immediately go into action.  Others panic, have emotional breakdowns, or freeze.  Still others remain clam and handle the situation with ease.

I tend to go into immediate action mode – sometimes without thinking clearly enough.  Today in my office, I was mentally out of my business suit and into my Catwoman suit long before the 30 second phone call with Grandma ended.  I was ready to act (or react) with cat-like reflexes.  The problem was that I didn’t have any sort of action plan.  It’s kind of like what my cats do at home when they run around the coffee table for no apparent reason with crazed looks in their eyes, chasing an imaginary bug.  Not good.  Especially when done by people. 

The lesson I learned today is that I will never be able to change my natural tendency to go into action during emergencies.  But, now that I recognize my natural bent, I will be able to better control what I do in the future.  Like reminding myself to stay calm.  Like figuring out a good plan.  Like acting with purpose.  Like not turning into a crazed Catwoman.

Catwoman - catwoman-selina-kyle photo


How to you react in emergencies?  Do you stay calm or freak out?


5 responses to this post.

  1. Strangely enough if I am by myself, I can keep calm and create a plan. If I am with my husband I start talking instead of thinking and freak out.


  2. I’m certainly more of the freak out type. I tend to lose my head and not take the time to think through actions. Not the best way to do things.


  3. Again are we maybe twins separated at birth? Because I react this same way. I’m a fixer by nature and so in crisis mode I typically try to jump into action.

    I hope your Dad is ok….


  4. Posted by Renee on September 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I’m usually the one who can remain calm, think through what needs to be done, and put it all into action in a very quick timeframe. In college, I helped a classmate through an asthma attack. I also helped another classmate when she was about to go into an epileptic seizure. I walked her out into the hallway so she wouldn’t hit anything, helped her down to the ground, and while everyone else was gauking ordered someone to watch her while I went for help … the prof wasn’t in yet.

    When I witness and accident or arrive shortly after one, I always stop to assist. Maybe it’s from being raised by my calm father … just glad I can help without going nuts. 😉


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