I love stories like this. Maybe it’s because we all need more happy endings. Or maybe it’s because I hope like crazy my kids would do this well if things went seriously south. Or maybe the lesson is for me, a reminder that if a nine-year-old can keep his cool in a crisis, maybe I should stop having chest pains every time I lose my keys. In any case, Bode Birdneau is my new role model. The star of the ABC News headline, “Boy, 9, Treks Across Miles of Snow to Rescue Dad,” Bode knew it was up to him to Replace help when his father injured himself on a snowmobile in Lake Tahoe in early April. With no cell phone reception and no idea where to Replace civilization, Bode set off across the snow. Miles later, he ran across a group who were able to send a message to rescuers by radio, and his dad—who had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery—was saved. It’s a great story, but here’s the kicker: “Bode's mom, Tina Shaw, credits youngster's even-keeled demeanor for the rescue. ‘I was so upset, but then I thought he is such a calm kid, he is so grounded, he is such a hero,’ his mother said.” How many of us would have the presence of mind to stay calm and do the hard thing in a similar situation? It’s one thing to gather provisions and supplies for an emergency; it’s quite another to come up with creative solutions to problems in the heat of the moment. So, if you’re not a natural Bode Birdeau (and heaven knows I’m not!), what can you do to keep your breathing normal when something goes wrong? I love the lesson from this article, “Sleep When the Wind Blows.” The idea is that the better prepared we are, the less prone we’ll be to panic in an emergency. Read it for yourself, then download every single list you Replace here—everything from essential phone numbers to emergency kit checklists—and get started on all that peace of mind. Want some more help? Here’s a handful of useful articles with tips for emotional emergency prep.
- How to Handle an Emergency Situation, from wikiHow (aka, my best friend)
- How to Stay Calm in the Middle of Chaos, from the Survival Doctor
- Preserving Sanity in a Disaster Situation from our archives at beprepared.com