Panic Attack

Panic Attack-How To Be Prepared Before You Need To Be

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There is nothing worse than a panic attack when something happens that we’re not expecting. It could be a shooting at a restaurant, a school, or a store. A few years ago we had another “shooting” in our country. This one happened in the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida airport.

I was running errands with my sister, Carol and I saw the news clip on my phone. I have a daughter that works at an airport and I quickly sent her a text to hear if she had heard about the shooting.

I knew she didn’t work at the affected airport, but I knew it could impact the clients traveling to and from the airport where she works. I told her 13 people were shot and 5 of those had died.

I’m sick for the families of these people and all others involved in this tragedy, the employees of the airport, and the law enforcement personnel who had to bring this terrible situation to an end. When I got home I quickly turned on the television to CNN and FOX News to see what was happening.

The pictures were horrific and I thought to myself, how are these people handling this stress? I could see some families, or groups of people anyway, with children. I can’t imagine the fear and panic those people must have felt as the events unfolded in front of them.

In an instant, everything changed. The television reporters were interviewing the police, and a few of the people who were just innocent bystanders with plans for vacations, cruises, business trips, or whatever, and their lives are now changed forever.

I remember when I was in high school in Las Vegas, Nevada and the school had the National Guard, Army Reserves, and Police rotating to stop the riots that were happening due to poor race relations between the students.

I graduated from high school in 1968 and the images are still vivid in my mind. I can remember one race walked on the left down the halls of the school and the other races walked down the right side. Yes, right here in America.

We could not use the bathroom without going with a friend and police stood outside the bathroom, and the various races sat in different sections of the cafeteria apart from each other.

My best friend was lucky because her parents had money to pull her out of this high school and send her to a private Catholic High School in town. I now lost association with my best friend who I had felt safer with as I walked down the hallways at school.

I wonder how those people at the airport felt hearing gunshots and having to drop to the floor of the luggage area. There is no way I can compare what they went through to what I went through as a 16-year-old student in high school.

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But, I can tell you, I was afraid every single day for a year. Some students were caught with knives, so then the bathrooms were off-limits during school hours. I was in panic mode every minute of the day. The school was totally segregated.

Panic Attack Tips:

I’m going to suggest some things you may want to consider if you are caught in a situation at school, an airport or a movie theater. Now, I don’t want everyone to be afraid of going to the movies or flying.

Here’s the deal, more people are killed on the highways each year than in shootings throughout the country. We must be strong and not let these crazy nuts stop us from living how WE want to live. We still need to play, travel or go to our work environments each day.

If we don’t continue to live we only hurt ourselves, our family, and friends by giving up on those daily activities that bring happiness, contentment, and financial support by staying home.

  1. If you are in a movie theater, before taking your seat, look for the EXIT signs. If an emergency arises, you should try to find your way to leave the theater through that door as soon as possible. Carry a small flashlight in your pocket or purse. Goal Zero Small Flashlight
  2. When you visit a restaurant, before you take a seat, look for the areas where you can evacuate the eating area, if needed. Here again, have a flashlight in your possession, never leave home without one. A small one with a great light like the above is perfect because it is solar and never needs batteries. I have four of these flashlights. Goal Zero Flashlight
  3. Have you heard of an EDC (everyday carry) bag? I wrote a post about one of these bags. I have some things listed below you may want, besides some of your own special needs and desires.
  4. When you are filling your gas tank, look around before you get out of the car, and lock the doors with the keys in your hand. I use this stretchy key wrist- band with my keys attached with a silver sturdy ring. 5 Pack – Ultimate Wrist Coil Camper Keychains for Work and Play – Premium Elastic Bungee Badge Holder & Key Chain Ring (One Size Fits All) by Specialist ID (Assorted Colors) Watch who is standing or walking around the area where you are standing. If you feel threatened don’t fill your tank there, look for a more safe facility, or come back the next day if you think it will be safer.
  5. Grocery stores are another place we must be aware of our surroundings. Please put your phones down and look around the aisles where you are shopping. I worry when I see small children at the grocery store running around unattended, and sometimes the mothers are oblivious as to what or where their children are.
  6. Parking lots are not all safe, I don’t care where we live, we must be aware of our surroundings. This could be a church parking lot, school parking lot, shopping malls, etc. Please keep your phones in your purse or pocket and be prepared whenever possible to protect yourself. Consider carrying some mace or pepper spray to use if necessary. Be sure to check out your key to see if there is a “panic” button that can be activated as needed.
  7. If you feel a panic attack coming on, take a deep breath and exhale. Do this again. It will help relieve anxiety if you are in a situation that makes you uncomfortable.
  8. I’m not talking about fear today, I’m hoping this is coming across as being prepared before panic hits you. You will relax if you are aware of the area you walking around, etc. It will become a natural thing to do in your life to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Items I carry in my Everyday Carry Bag:

  • Multi-tool knife, you can use these for so many things.
  • Hand sanitizer-keep my hands clean from bacteria.
  • Mirror-if stranded I can flash this to let people find me.
  • Compass-if stranded I can at least know the direction I am heading.
  • Whistle-the ones that are extremely loud to alert people.
  • Small bills and coins for emergency cash if the power goes down.
  • Water bottle (with a filter).
  • Lip gloss.
  • Small first aid kit.
  • Duct tape (small rolls now available).
  • Seatbelt cutter.
  • Flashlight.
  • Pen and small paper tablet.
  • Folding knife for protection or other uses.
  • USB charger for phones and tablets.
  • Aspirin and Benadryl.
  • Pepper spray.
  • Black sharpie.
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Other EDC Items To Consider:

  • Names and phone numbers of who to contact in an emergency.
  • Battery/crank-powered portable radio/extra batteries.
  • Flashlight/preferably one with solar/crank/LED.
  • Compass and maps; not everyone has GPS in their car and on phones.
  • Can of motor oil.
  • Fire Extinguisher(5-pound ABC type).
  • Flares and/or orange cones.
  • Jumper cables.
  • Rags/paper towels.
  • Shovel/ax.
  • Pocketknife.
  • Tire gauge.
  • Toolbox.
  • Window scraper for ice.

Necessities for survival:

  • Water/Granola bars/Jerky
  • Blankets
  • Jackets/sweaters
  • Emergency cash: approximately $100.00 in small bills
  • First Aid Kit
  • Baby Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Scissors/pens/pencils (not crayons-they melt)
  • Emergency snack food and/or MRE meals (items may need to be replaced more frequently if stored in extreme heat conditions)
  • Whistles
  • Umbrella
  • Hand warmers
  • Extra blankets

PRINTABLE: Items I carry in my Every Day Carry Bag by Food Storage Moms

This is the bag I carry sometimes instead of a purse, and I don’t panic because I have things in my EDC bag I can use for most emergencies. Take a deep breath and pray before you panic. May God bless you and your family. Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack, Khaki

Final Word

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  1. Training will help mitigate some of this. If you gets trained in, for instance, active shooter your brain will recognize events as “having been here before”.
    Playing the “what if” game will also help you process thru the OODA loop.
    The best is working “in the business”. You don’t have to be a ranger special seal delta operator but someone who reacts often to emergencies. You become used to it which can have negative side effects but it’s a trade off.

  2. Linda,
    That is an absolutely great article. I especially like the information on situational awareness as these are things I practice daily. I see people all the time though who are totally oblivious to their situation, mostly because they have their face buried in an electronic device. I suggest that an item that should be in everyone’s EDC is a sidearm if they can legally obtain their LTC like we have.

    BTW, you told off on yourself with your graduation date. I graduated in 1967 and my wife in 1968. LOL!!!

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