We all wear a lot of hats. We’re employees, parents, children, friends, managers, students, teachers and volunteers. Each hat comes with its own responsibilities and its own rewards. Some are hats we like to wear every chance we get, some aren’t so comfortable.
Emergencies don’t care what hat you have on. They don’t care if it’s the hat you know best, the one you’re the most comfortable in, or one you’re trying on for the first time. They can happen anywhere and at any time. Are you ready for emergencies wherever you are? Is your office as prepared as your home? What about your dog obedience club, or the community center where you volunteer?
Emergency plans and supplies for each of places we spend time are important, but the most important tool in your emergency kit is one that you always have with you. It’s self-efficacy–the certainty of knowing that you can do something because you’ve practiced it.
Self-efficacy has a few hats of its own. It shows up as self-confidence, as a willingness to be the one to step up and act when others are unsure, and the willingness to try the next thing because you are confident in what you already know. Self-efficacy dials back our stress in an emergency, and helps us make good decisions when we need to the most.
Where do you find this amazing hat? You can start right now by thinking about what might happen wherever you are right now. What would you do if an unsafe situation arose? What might stop you from doing it successfully? Identify the problem and solve it. Then talk about it, and practice it with others.
For example, let’s go back to the dog obedience club. What if there was a fire in the building? How would you know about it? What exits are available? If there are crated dogs what would be the best way to get them out safely? Would you need some extra leashes in an emergency? Now is the time to get them. Talk to the other members of the club about emergency plans. Hold a doggy fire drill to see how long it takes to evacuate the building, and if there are any problems that you didn’t foresee. There’s your self-efficacy hat, peeking out from under your emergency preparedness hat.
Self-efficacy is something you can give to others. Even people who can’t do a lot can do something, with encouragement, and that something may give them the confidence to try something a little bit harder or more complicated.
Your emergency preparedness hat may not be your favorite, and maybe it’s not the most comfortable, but when an emergency happens you’ll be glad you have it. You will be calmer, safer and more confident—and that hat looks good on you.
For more information on being ready for an emergency, no matter where it happens, visit www.do1thing.com