How People React to Emergency Situations: For example, bear encounters, burning decorations and icy skids

So what was that I heard again?

I was listening to a news report the other day of a guy who came across a big black bear and he decided the best way to handle the situation was to lie down and play dead. The bear took his time smelling him up, down and around until he finally walked away. This got me to thinking about what I would do if I encountered a bear, the odds of which are quite high given that we live near bear laden woods where we walk Reuben.

You can never come to my desert island.

This led me to think about the time I was at a friend’s house and the Christmas decoration caught on fire above the fireplace. She yelled at me to go to the kitchen to get some water, call the fire department etc… Unfortunately the dancing flames from the fire had me mesmerized so I stood there admiring it while she yelled. Once the situation was under control (no thanks to me) she looked at me and said she would never want to be on a desert island with me (obviously doesn’t know the things I can do with my bra).

All of this has gotten me thinking about what kind of ‘responder’ I am in emergency situations. How does this fabulous brain of mine work when push comes to shove. Well, I’m starting to suspect that at this point in my life I’m a bit of a ‘stand there deer in the headlights kind of person’. If lightening strikes hug a tree. (while running from the bear possibly)

So let’s say I do run into a bear what would I do?

a) if Dave is there I would jump on his back and tell him to run . I know this because a rat was chasing me once and I did exactly this and thank god because it saved us both.

b) stand looking at the bear and try hard to remember the CBC Early Edition show I heard some time ago about what you do when you encounter a bear. What was it again? Wave your arms, scream and yell, look him dead in the eye and assume animal dominance.

C) or was it more like, whatever you do, don’t make a sound, only look at him briefly, wait, no don’t look at it him at all, stand as still as possible and hope he goes away? Or was that the grizzly bear?

d) continue hoping he goes away while fervently wishing you were somewhere else while hearing soundtrack  to be played at your wake (Body in a Box, please)

I had another situation when I was driving in a snowstorm. Suddenly the car skidded and my brain was forced back to driving school….that critical lesson of what to do when you go into a skid: a) turn into it b) turn out of it.

Well, I did the opposite of what I was supposed to do and ended up in a ditch.

Back to the bear briefly. I was hiking with some girlfriends yesterday and the question of the bear encounter came up. One woman in the group instantly said she would scream aggressively, wave her arms wildly, assert dominance but  not too much. I was impressed. She definitely knew what she was doing. If I was shipwrecked I’d want to be with her. She then went on to talk about how she had gotten trapped by vicious dogs in a bedroom and how she confronted them and engineered her husband’s escape. I had a similar situation and after yelling and screaming for help for quite a long time, I crawled through the world’s smallest bathroom window to safety. Apparently nobody missed me or could hear my shrieks.

I suspect there is nothing I can do to improve my emergency preparedness. This is who I am. And I’m still alive.



Filed under Random Musing

3 responses to “How People React to Emergency Situations: For example, bear encounters, burning decorations and icy skids

  1. Don’t forget you are now armed with your fabulous pink iPhone – help is a couple of touch screens away. Totally doable while you’re running from bear/dog or stuck in ditch/island.

  2. Hahaha, you never fail to make me laugh. Your posts are so hilarious. I would love to see you jump on Dave’s back if you saw a bear. Of course, I wouldn’t love to be seeing that bear….

    I can never remember the thing about which way to turn into a skid, but I magically did it right the last time it happened to me. Now… I better look up exactly what it is I am supposed to again!

    I think you are doing quite well, you’ve made it this far! Follow those instincts 😉

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