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Top 5 Tips for Everyday Emergencies

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Updated June 15, 2007

By definition, emergencies happen without warning. Calling 911 can be scary and overwhelming, especially having uniformed strangers in your home during a vulnerable time.

Knowing what to expect and how to prepare makes any crisis manageable. Here are steps you can take to plan for any emergency - from the largest to the smallest.

1. Learn What to Expect from 911

Calling 911 can be one of the most harrowing parts of the emergency experience. Very few people ever actually call 911. The dispatcher or call-taker may seem to talk fast. You may not know what to expect or even when to hang-up. Learn to be the best 911 caller you can be during your next emergency.

2. Know the Difference Between House Phone and Cell Phone

The Federal Communications Commission has required that all wireless carriers be able to pinpoint your location for the 911 dispatchers, but the rule is coming in phases and there are plenty of exceptions. It's important to know the difference between calling on a cell phone and calling from home.

3. Know Enough to Stay Legally Protected

Good Samaritan laws are meant to protect those who come to the aid of others for no other reason than kindness. Each state has laws or regulations to protect the general public from liability during rescues or rescue attempts. Get an overview of protection before you need it.

4. Have All Your Information Ready

Recalling the details of your medication cabinet doesn't come easily during a medical emergency. But that information is vital to the professionals taking care of you. Having an accurate record that's easily accessible can make a huge difference in your care.

5. Keep a First Aid Kit Handy

Every house or apartment should have a first aid kit easily accessible. Make sure yours is stocked with the basic needs each kit should have.
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