How to stay calm and focused in any emergency, large or small

Apr 21, 2022, 3:24 PM | Updated: 3:52 pm
Photo credit: Canva...
Photo credit: Canva

SALT LAKE CITY — When Utahns think about emergency preparedness it’s generally in the light of the big problems that are possible here. For example, an earthquake or wildfire, flood, or blizzard.

That said, emergency preparedness can come in handy in everyday situations, as The Arrow’s Jon Smith found out this week. He shared what he learned about the value of emergency preparedness with Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson.

Disruption of routine in an emergency 

“I live out in Tooele County,” Smith said, “and our power had gone out about 3 a.m.”

Smith wakes up early to DJ a morning show on KSL NewsRadio’s sister station, the Arrow. So waking up early didn’t throw a wrench into his routine. 

Turns out the power going out didn’t throw a wrench either, because, Smith said, he was prepared. He knew where his lamp was, and that helped him get ready and out the door.

It’s a small example. However, knowing where the lamp was and knowing it was sufficiently powered made all the difference, he said.

The anxious feeling of not knowing what to do first can waste valuable time in an emergency, small or large. No matter the size of the problem, having a system, or hierarchy of needs, helps keep us calm and helps to keep things in perspective. Especially, Smith said, when you are responsible for other people.

For Smith, the hierarchy of needs looks like this: Food, water, medicine; heat; shelter; light, power; and finally, transportation. This may look different for different people.

The other thing that can help keep your mind calm and focused in an emergency is having checked the segments of your hierarchy that may need an update or replacement.

For example, if you have a note on your calendar or on your phone to check the expiration date on your emergency food, or, to replace your stock of emergency batteries, knowing you have taken care of these tasks will be a relief if an emergency presents itself.

The importance of communication in an emergency

Another important aspect of preparedness is communication, Smith said. Imagine that your family is split in five different directions if that big earthquake hits. They are surrounded by other people who may or may not be prepared, how do you keep them safe in that situation?

“We have a safe spot that we go to,” Smith said. “We have safe people that we can go to if we can’t get to each other.” 

Smith and his family have words, that once used, are known by the children that there is a real emergency. 

“People tease me, but I’ll tell you when I didn’t have to wait in line for toilet paper … when I didn’t have to worry about the earthquake in 2020, or the power outage after the wind storm, or this morning when my power went out … suddenly, it’s not so funny.”

For more information or tips, visit the Be Ready Utah website.

Related Story: Leaders in Davis County tell residents to prepare for another Utah drought




Hatch courthouse...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Utah’s longest serving senator, Orrin Hatch, dies at 88

Orrin Hatch, Utah's longest serving senator, has died at age 88.
4 months ago
Pictured here are items seized from one of four drug busts authorities in Carbon County conducted o...
Mark Jones

Carbon County authorities make significant drug busts

Authorities in Carbon County, with a search warrant, have conducted four drug busts over the past three weeks.
4 months ago
Mark Jones

Soap box derby set for Saturday in Daybreak

Daybreak will host the second annual Soap Box Derby on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.
4 months ago
State street traffic sign...
Samantha Herrera

State Street traffic restrictions starting soon

State Street traffic restrictions are slated to start soon and continue into August. Work will impact areas downtown and near the Capitol.
4 months ago
Garth Brooks Salt Lake...
Simone Seikaly

Garth Brooks sells out second Salt Lake concert in 45 minutes

It was the second time in less than a year that Garth Brooks sold that many tickets for a Salt Lake City concert so quickly.
4 months ago
A Smith's recycling bin...
Devin Oldroyd

Recycle single-use plastic at your local Smith’s

In honor of Earth Month, Smith's Food & Drug is encouraging its customers to recycle thin-filter plastic materials at their local stores.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
How to stay calm and focused in any emergency, large or small