This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo with tips on handling a crisis.
It doesn’t matter how careful you are; at some point, you are going to run into a crisis. Your life may have been picture-perfect, everything was all planned out, and you were ready to get 2020 off on a steady start. Out of nowhere, the whole world is in meltdown.
Many of us were told not to go to work, finances took a strain, and wherever you are in the world, you probably started panicking about the lack of toilet paper in supermarkets.
Life is fluid. We can’t avoid coming across choppy waters, but we can prepare for them so here is the ultimate guide to handling just about any crisis that might come your way.
The Ultimate Guide To Handling A Crisis
What do to First
When a crisis hits us out of nowhere; the first thing we need to do is to remain calm. This can be hard to do, especially if it involves the health of our loved ones.
However, no amount of panic is going to make you feel better or improve the situation. In fact, it’s more likely to create a worse situation and make you feel terrible.
There is no shame in pausing for a moment. Even if it just to take a breath. Some situations may demand an immediate response, such as if you stumble across someone having a heart attack.
There is always time for a breath. In a situation like this, the first thing to do is to make sure the person is in a safe position and check if they are conscious.
You also need to call for an ambulance or ask someone nearby to call for an ambulance. If you don’t know CPR, then you should check if anyone else does. Remember, remain calm and don’t try to do anything if you aren’t confident.
If the Situation is Not an Emergency
In a situation that isn’t an emergency, such as a financial crisis or finding yourself at the start of a relationship breakup, then you can step back and pause for a little longer. Our brains need time to process things, and often decisions we make are more substantial if we let our minds clear and get over the original shock.
In this age, we are fortunate as we have the internet to hand. There are answers to just about every possible question. So no matter what happens, you can probably google it and get a solution.
Let’s say you get a call from your partner, there has been a misunderstanding, and they have been arrested. Unfortunately, they need bail money, but you don’t have access to the cash they need. One simple search of bail bonds 24 hours near me will give you all the information you need to solve the problem. Hopefully, this isn’t a crisis that you have to deal with!
Preparation is key to all crises. So when life is good, it’s the perfect time to think about all the possible crisis situations that could come up and get yourself ready.
For the simple end of the scale, every home should have a well-stocked first-aid kit. This should include various types of bandages for cuts and burns, glue, medical tape, eyewash, and scissors.
You can buy comprehensive first aid kits from Amazon, and while you will probably never need the contents, you will be prepared in the event of a home emergency. You should always keep one in your car too.
Maybe consider taking a first aid course, there is an argument that first aid should be mandatory and taught in school. Understanding how to stop someone choking, perform CPR and reduce bleeding could all help you manage an emergency in a much calmer way.
Do you know where your stopcock is? It’s surprising how many people don’t. If your pipes burst and your home starts to flood, then learning how to turn off the water supply could save you hundreds of pounds in damage and also a lot of cleaning up. You should also have a well-stocked tool kit at home and know exactly where it is.
Having the list of any emergency contacts for your home can also help save time—research your local plumber, electrician and any other emergency home services. Keep the numbers somewhere that anyone can access, so if you are away you can confidently tell people who to call and where the details are.
While it is crucial to breathe, reaction time can reduce the impact of a crisis. This is particularly true if you are facing a financial crisis.
If you lose your job and the bills are mounting up, then you need to get on the phone fast. Speaking to your mortgage company and your bank to see if they will let you take a break in payments for a couple of months.
This will buy you time to find a new job or move around your savings. The sooner you do this, the less stress you will have and the clearer your mind will be, allowing you to focus on finding a new source of income.
Having accessible savings can be a vital lifeline in a crisis. The current pandemic is a perfect example of this. Over the years, many of us have learned to use our savings to make us money.
Investing them into a property or buying shares. We have been taught that money sitting in a bank isn’t working for you. This can be true, but if all your savings are tied up in property when a crisis hits, you will struggle to access the money you may need.
This could lead to you having to sell your assets for well under their market value. Which means the whole process was probably a waste of time. When investing, always make sure you keep a little back in a standard savings account too. Even if you top it up by a hundred dollars a month it will soon add up and give you a little cushion should you need to access money, fast.
Read up on all of your insurance policies. From your home to your car and your health insurance. You need to make sure you understand precisely what you are covered for and what you are not.
It’s easy to forget what we signed up for, and even easier to ignore any changes that may have happened to our policies over the years. The worst thing that can happen in a crisis is for you to find out that you aren’t covered.
So get to know all the details and maybe look at upgrading your insurance if you haven’t done this for a while. You should also make sure you have all the claim numbers for each insurance deal. Save them on your phone and leave a copy in the house too for those emergencies when you are away.
How to Handle a Crisis Abroad or on Vacation
Sometimes, a crisis can happen while we are abroad. This can be upsetting if it involves one of our family members or our home.
There are lots of people that experience break-ins while they are away on holiday and the news that something like this has happened will leave you feeling violated. You will want to get home as quickly as you can to find out if any of your sentimental or expensive items have been taken.
It’s a sensible idea if you are going on holiday, placing any items that cannot be replaced, such as your parent’s wedding rings or other special items, somewhere that can’t be easily found. You may have a lot of jewelry at home, and you could leave this with a close friend while you are away.
Home items such as TV’s and computers can be replaced; however, your laptop does contain valuable data. If it ends up in the wrong hands, this could lead to even more disaster and financial issues. Therefore, ensure all of your passwords are changed regularly and are secure.
Also, encrypt all your files. Cloud storage can help you ensure that any critical data isn’t kept on the computer itself. You should also consider software such as Apple’s Find My iPhone, which can track your laptop should it be stolen.
One of the most important things to remember in a crisis is to take care of yourself and the people around you. Our mental health is incredibly important, and a crisis can lead many people to feel depressed and anxious. If you have been experiencing depression or anxiety because of a recent crisis, it’s important to reach out for help. You can always connect with the licensed therapists online at BetterHelp.
Make sure you talk to someone if you feel overwhelmed. Ask your friends and family for help and keep focussing on how you will feel when you get to the other side.
Preparation and planning are essential parts of coping with crisis, so make sure you are set for anything to happen. If you manage to live your life with only a few bumps in the road, then you haven’t lost anything. If you end up with a fight on your hands, you will have everything you need to get through to the other side with as little stress as possible.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.