This article is being written to help you prepare in advance for when mass panic might strike in your area. This author believes that mentally preparing for events can help one avoid panicking themselves, and keep a level head that will be needed to bring yourself and your loved ones through a panic of any type. The following are steps that should be taken once panic strikes, and explanations of how they will help get you through almost any situation. Considering these steps in advance may help you keep a level head once panic strikes.

1. Assess the threat - Why are people panicking? What is the immediate danger that might threaten you or those around you? Say there is a hurricane coming towards your city, or an earthquake just happened and collapsed your house, or aliens invaded and are killing everyone they see, the threat will determine what steps you have to take to protect yourself. Once you assess the threat, you can...

2. Address your weaknesses - How are you vulnerable to the threat? If there was a hurricane, is your house in a flood plain and in danger of being destroyed by a storm surge? If there was a pandemic of swine flu, do you have a weakened immune system caused by a pre-existing condition that might make you more vulnerable? If there is mass rioting, are you separated from your family and have to put yourself at risk to reunite with them? Knowing your weaknesses can help you know how to...

3. Focus your strengths - Do you have a vacation home in the country? Are you a former marine sniper with plenty of ammunition to protect your belongings from looters? Do you have a close group of neighbors that will look after each other in times of emergency? Any strengths you have should be used to try to protect yourself and your loved ones, as well as compensate for weaknesses. One strength you have already is having read this article and mentally prepared for when panic strikes. Once you know your strengths, you are ready to...

4. Take advantage of opportunities - Do you have advanced knowledge of a coming threat, such as a hurricane? Use that advantage to get to safety early. Are you already caught up in the middle of a panic? Focus on opportunities to protect yourself from the threat. Being proactive about opportunities can help you keep a level head and prevent you from joining the panicking mob.

If you follow these steps while caught up in a panic, you will be better prepared than most people, and will most likely not panic yourself. However, there are a few other things you can do to prepare before panic strikes.

1. Know what threats might take place in your area ahead of time. What sudden events or natural disasters might trigger a panic, and how can you avoid being caught off guard by those events?

2. Have enough food stocked up in your pantry to get you through the most likely threat event. If there might be a blackout that could disrupt your ability to go to the grocery store for a week, make sure you have at least a week's worth of food in your pantry at all times. Practice First-In First-Out to make sure the food doesn't go bad.

3. Have a plan involving you, your loved ones, your neighbors, or anyone else that you want to help or that can help you get through a panic. Having people you trust by your side will multiply strengths and cover for weaknesses that an individual might suffer from.

4. Practice not panicking. Work on keeping a level head in all situations. Try not to lose your cool during day to day activities. The methods you develop to stay calm during regular situations will work just as well during emergencies.

If you have other techniques or tips not included in this article, please mention them in the comments. This article can serve as a forum for us all to learn from each other on how to survive when panic strikes.