Source: Zoey Sky

When disaster strikes, you need to remain calm and act fast. But this isn’t an easy task for some people, especially if they are prone to panicking or if they have anxiety.

If you want to know how to keep your cool, learn how to prioritize and review an emergency checklist before SHTF. (h/t to

Know what you need to do in an emergency situation

Emergency situations are often stressful and chaotic. Even experienced preppers may feel angry, scared, or worried, but you need to have a resilient mindset so you can deal with dangerous situations and people who may want to do you harm.

When SHTF, you will have little to no time to decide what to do so you need to be prepared before anything bad happens. Knowing what to do ahead of time ensures that you can calmly assess the situation and react rationally.

If you’re worried about your anxiety or “freezing up” when it’s time to act, you can avoid these mental downfalls by knowing how to best deal with an emergency.

Do this by learning and memorizing what should be your priorities when SHTF and work your way down the checklist when disaster strikes. You can print a copy of this checklist, but you won’t always have time to check and double-check it when SHTF. It’s better to take the time to learn it by heart.

Before SHTF, sign up for the first aid and CPR course. Your first aid knowledge might save someone’s life.

Emergency priorities to learn by heart

Here are five things you need to prioritize in case of emergency:


When disaster strikes, work fast to remove yourself and others from the path of immediate danger. This means if your house is on fire, you first need to gather everyone and escape to a safe place.

If you’re stuck in an area during a riot or when civil unrest is happening, look for a safe way out.

When SHTF, you might also have to bug out or evacuate to a safer location, such as during a time of political or economic turmoil. (Related: Your attitude could mean the difference between life and death – here’s why.)

Medical concerns

When dealing with a survival scenario, you also need to address serious medical concerns.

Here is the basic order of concern for most injuries:

  1. Make sure the patient can breathe.
  2. Stop any major bleeding.
  3. Immobilize the patient’s neck or back if you think there is any possibility of injury to those regions.
  4. Treat shock, hypothermia, hyperthermia or heart attack.
  5. Treat dehydration.
  6. Treat broken bones by immobilizing them with a splint.
  7. Treat minor injuries.

Before SHTF, prep a first aid kit for treating wounds with the following supplies:

  • Adhesive bandages (20 or more pieces in various sizes)
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Butterfly closures/ butterfly strips (four or more pieces)
  • Compression bandage (three pieces)
  • Iodine
  • Irrigation syringe
  • Israeli bandage
  • Nitrile gloves (five pairs)
  • Sam-splint moldable foam splint
  • Suture kit
  • Triangle bandages (three pieces)

Shelter from the elements

Ideally, you should take shelter in a well-built structure. But if things go south, you should know how to set up a tent or build a temporary shelter out of a tarp and some branches.

Clean water

You need clean water for drinking to prevent hydration and for keeping yourself clean.


Food is the last item in this list because in a short-term disaster scenario you can survive longer without it. However, things will be different if you’re dealing with a long-term survival scenario, so always have food and water in your bug-out bag.

Staying calm when SHTF

If you’re worried about having an anxiety attack or panicking when disaster strikes, try the box breathing technique. Practice box breathing before SHTF so you can easily remember the technique even if you’re under pressure.

Instructions for box breathing:

  1. Inhale deeply for four seconds.
  2. Hold your breath, with your lungs full of air, for four seconds.
  3. Exhale for four seconds.
  4. Hold your breath, with your lungs empty, for four seconds.
  5. Repeat as needed.

This technique isn’t just a psychological trick. Practicing box breathing helps boost the nitric oxide levels in your blood, increases your blood flow, and reduces your blood pressure. These physical changes can help you regain or remain in control of your emotions when facing a stressful situation.

Before SHTF, plan for scenarios that you might face and know what you need to do in these situations. Instead of keeping a physical list, memorize what you need to do until you can enumerate them in your head without taking too long to think about what you need to do next.

Visit Survival. news for more information on what to do when SHTF.

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