Why Panicking Doesn’t Help During Emergencies

As a trainee taking offshore safety training in the Philippines, you are taught what course of action you need to do during emergency situations. Working in the offshore oil and gas industry can be quite dangerous after all. That’s why taking certain courses such as HUET training and others is required. Once you complete these courses, you’re better equipped in dealing with emergency incidents.

Still, just because you’re knowledgeable and ready doesn’t mean you’ll be cool, calm, and collected when the time comes. Despite knowing what to do, you may be caught in a state of panic which could prevent you from acting appropriately. While this is a common reaction, it’s important to not let it get to you. Here’s why:

It limits what you can do

While panicking in an emergency situation is different from having a full-blown panic attack, its effects can be quite similar. Telltale symptoms take place such as hyperventilating and feeling lightheaded or weak. The manifestation of these symptoms can also worsen the existing fear in the first place, delaying the release of adrenaline in the system. Because this hormone is responsible for the fight-or-flight response of the body, a lack of this can render you unable to function. Even simply running towards a safety zone can be a difficult thing to do when you’re in a state of significant stress. You also won’t be able to help your fellow workers get to safety.

It may cause others to panic as well

How people panic can differ from person to person. Some do so internally, while others are quite vocal about their feelings. Even the ones who don’t voice it out can still show signs through external symptoms. In an offshore emergency, it’s crucial not to let whatever panic you’re feeling affect others. This is because it can cause your fellow workers to worry severely as well, resulting in disorganized evacuations, spread of false information, and injuries. Isn’t the goal to reduce disorganization and injuries in the first place?

A second of panic is a second closer to danger

We know that overcoming panic is a difficult thing to do. Sometimes, it can’t be helped especially during disasters such as storms, fires, and the like. However, you need to know that the more time you spend panicking, the closer you are to danger. Think about it. Even a second can mean the difference between escaping a catastrophe or being caught in the middle of it. So it’s best to defeat panic quickly before it’s too late.

What can be done about it?

Fighting against these feelings can be quite difficult, as these situations tend to happen so fast that there’s no time to react. However, there are ways to address this so you can act quickly during emergencies:

  • Research on relaxation techniques to calm down. You can’t act accordingly if you’re in a highly distressed mental state.
  • Remember your training. Always review your lessons every now and then so you immediately know what to do in the event of an offshore disaster.

Do note, though, that one should not feel ashamed when they experience panic during stressful and potentially dangerous events. It’s a perfectly normal reaction to a not-so-normal situation. With that being said, knowing how to beat the fear and stress that arises during these crises is an important skill workers need to develop. To do that, intensive offshore safety training in the Philippines is required for all aspiring maritime professionals. This gives each trainee not just the emergency response skills necessary to be safe, but also the mental capabilities to power through the panic regardless of any dangerous situation.

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