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Stages of Response


All human beings go through the same three stages when experiencing an emergency or critical incident situation. The examination of past emergencies has demonstrated that the speed and efficiency with which you are able to go through this process will directly affect your outcome.

Step 1

Sense Danger

Human beings sense danger the same way we sense anything else. We feel it, see it, or someone tells us about it. Alerts allow us to begin our response as soon as possible. The problem with alerts is that even though we know an emergency is possible we don’t believe the danger will actually affect us, so we disregard the alert. Taking alerts seriously is vital in order to respond appropriately.

Step 2

Evaluate Response Options

After you have sensed or been alerted to danger you must determine how you will respond. The best option is to have a response planned before danger occurs, which can be accomplished through training or mental scripting.

Step 3

Commit to Action

The third and final step is to Commit to Action. Being aware of your surroundings and having a plan will allow you to confidently navigate the situation.