TIME. TIME. TIME is the main problem. Or rather, lack
of time. Too little time to plan, to decide, to execute
Your usual coping strategies, even your best ones,
may not work in a crisis. New strategies for gathering
information, judging its usefulness, and deciding on
the best option are absolutely necessary.
You've probably never faced a situation like this.
That's why it's a "CRISIS". Otherwise, it
would be a problem or a challenge, but not a crisis.
For a problem or a challenge, you have a set of learned
behaviors, such as 1. gather the facts, 2. consider
options, 3. choose the best, then 4. act. There is no
need to be fast thinking, no time restriction.
In a crisis, you need perceptual skills of a different
order. You must be quick to look, listen, feel, and
smell to gather the pertinent information for survival.
In our culture, we've seldom had to do this. Maybe never
Some practice helps.
Once you've gathered the danger information, the exit
information, the key pieces of the environmental data,
you must quickly choose the best option, one you've
never tried before, and then do it.
Our habits, our usual mental patterns, probably won't
work here. You can't take the elevator, and which stairs,
up or down? Maybe the only exits are windows. Do they
open? If not, how do you break the glass? What floor
are you on? How high up are you? A million questions
to answer with your perceptions and only a few moments
to find the best answers.
How do you prepare for a crisis?
Here are some suggestions to lay down some synapses
in your memory so if the real thing happens, you will
have rehearsed for faster, better decisions.