The Science Behind Why We Need An Emergency Panic ButtonJason Siddall
“I’ve seen people do some crazy things. A friend in an armed robbery kept trying to grab the gun and asked the robber if it was real. They just wanted to touch it.”
This quote from a conversation on Quora highlights the effect that fear has on us humans. We may laugh at the absurdity of these stories, thinking erroneously that we are immune to the biological effects of fear. But the bottom line is when we are truly afraid our brains don’t always work as well as they should.
Incidentally, it’s this exact issue which has placed the emergency panic button in such demand, especially here in South Africa.
The Science of Fear
We’ve all had a time in our lives where we need to respond quickly to something, and we just hit a blank. What is that all about?
A small almond shaped piece of our brains called the amygdala is at the root of our lack of coherence during high-stress situations. This little portion of cells processes memory, emotions and motivation and is the first responder in times of terror. When activated, a flood of chemicals is released into our bodies, triggering the well-known flight or fight reflex.
More often than not, these signals bypass our conscious brain and place our body on high-alert, ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to get out of danger. We process action first… and think later.
This is all fascinating, but how does this relate to panic buttons?
An Emergency Panic Button Thinks For You
The very nature of a “surprise attack” is that we don’t expect it.
We may be at home binge watching our favourite series and eating popcorn. We may be putting our trainers on ready for our 5:00 am jog. Or we may be hanging our washing up on the line. When a home invasion happens we are never prepared and almost without exception, instantly terrorised. If we have children or elderly folk in the house then we aren’t just thinking for ourselves but we are equally frantic for their safety.
It’s at this point when our logical brain turns off and we can’t remember who to call or what their numbers are.
Cell C’s MiAssist panic button has made this process as simple as possible for you at these high-stress times when you don’t know which way to turn and every second counts. Pressing your panic button immediately sets a string of procedures in motion – all aimed to get the right emergency service to you as soon as physically possible.
Can You Prepare For A Home Invasion?
While we should always take as many precautions as possible to keep our homes and loved ones safe, crime is rife in South Africa. There may be a time when someone breaks through our defences and we find ourselves face-to-face with an armed intruder. These criminals know that they have mere minutes to get what they want and make their escape, and therefore show very little tolerance for you and your family, and a high level of aggression to expedite their activity. It’s all about speed.
Henk van Bemmelen of Blue Security offers some excellent advice on being mentally prepared in case of a home invasion, and we would encourage you to read the full article. An excellent point made was to avoid eye contact and not to resist their demands to hand over valuables. The reason? Van Bemmelen says, “Fighting back raises the risk of injury or tragedy, but if you co-operate with their requests it’s far less likely that you or your family will be harmed.”
So while we all hope it will never happen to us, we do need to prepare ourselves in the event of an emergency. It’s likely that we may not be able to think straight, we may forget our PIN to unlock our phone, be unable to call the right people, or to know exactly what to do – but we can rely on our emergency panic button to speak for us.
It is a sad fact of life here in our beautiful country, that we have to be so conscious of our personal security. However, we at MiAssist are working to add another vital layer of safety to the lives of our subscribers, as we endeavour to speed up response time and thwart the ever-changing efforts of the criminal plague.
For more information on becoming a subscriber to the MiAssist network please call us on 084 157 0077.