Guest Blogger, Richard Lee Helps us Prepare Mentally

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Mental Preparation for Workplace Incidents

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Where do you spend the majority of your time? At your home, your workplace, or sitting in college classes? At your house you may have a plan on how to evacuate if there is a fire, or steps that you would take when faced with an emergency, but many times, our workplaces become our home away from home, and we may not be as prepared to respond to an incident there. I find it interesting that with as much time as we spend at work, we know very little about the things we see every day. Today I want to bring some thoughts to the forefront of your mind and help you become more aware of your surroundings in the workplace to better prepare for incidents.

When faced with an emergency situation, people may react in very different ways based on their life experiences. Some may freeze in panic, while others may laugh at what seems like an inopportune time, but individuals express their emotions differently. No matter how emotions are expressed, the thought process for how to respond to say a fire in your office should be predetermined, and you should act on previously thought out plans, not the emotions that you are feeling.

Let’s look at some questions that we can ask ourselves to increase our ability to respond to an incident effectively:

  1. If you need to evacuate, where do you go? Who do you contact once you’re there?
  2. How do you reach the ground floor?
  3. Can you easily locate secondary exit routes?
  4. What items are in your immediate area to use as a barricade if an active shooter or armed intruder situation happened?

These may be tough questions for some to answer, but unfortunately, incidents happen and many times in the workplace, but individuals may not be preparewell prepared to respond to them. Asking yourself these questions can help to save lives when seconds count. For instance, say you work at a movie theater, and are training a new employee, a fire starts and everyone must evacuate, but the primary emergency exit is blocked by flames. If you know the secondary emergency exit and where it leads, you can successfully lead others to safety.

In a place that you spend a majority of your time, you should know the immediate surroundings very well, and should have a mental plan on how to respond to a variety of situations, including an armed intruder, fire, bomb threat, etc. Next time you’re at work, ask yourself how you would react to different scenarios, and if need be, practice a small drill on your own to get comfortable.


"Richard Lee is former military police who specialized in corrections and detainee operations and additionally has worked in VIP protection. Richard currently works for Prepared Response, Inc. where he specializes in field data collection, facilitates pre-plan tactical meetings, and trains customers on implementing Rapid Responder."

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