A lot of Americans share the same fears and many of those happen to come from TV and films. Jaws and all the shark movies that have followed have made sharks a national menace lurking in the oceans. The Walking Dead has some of us talking about how to escape from zombies. And ever since the opening scene in Speed, a lot of Americans have worried about getting stuck in elevators. If television and movies are to believed, it is a fairly normal occurrence, but the truth is this situation will most likely never happen to you. That being said, it is still not a bad idea to know what to do if you do ever find yourself trapped in an elevator. Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make it through this completely survivable but still scary predicament.
Keep your cool. The most important thing – by far – is to stay calm. Remember that being stuck in an elevator is inconvenient and annoying, but you are in an easily rescued position and help will get to you quickly. Staying calm makes a big difference. Panic will only make the situation worse. So take a deep breath and keep your cool. It’s going to be fine.
Try the buttons. Before you call for help, try pressing another floor’s button to see if the elevator will move again. If it that is unsuccessful hit the open door button. If that fails as well, then it is time to call for help.
Call for assistance. All elevators are equipped for the situation you are in, so you can feel better immediately. Simply use the emergency telephone in the elevator to call for help. You will be connected to technicians that will come to get you out. If for some reason the elevator phone doesn’t work, use your cell phone to call 911. If there are no cell phones available, bang on the doors and yell to let people know you are stuck inside.
Sit and wait. This will probably be hard to do, but after calling for help all you can do is sit and wait for it to arrive. You might get bored, and if you are alone you might feel lonely. (This is just another reason that it always pays to have a book with you!) Hopefully you have a smartphone with games to keep you busy, if you don’t have a book or newspaper. Play a game with yourself – the kinds of letter and number games you entertained yourself with as a child. Talk to yourself. Sing your favorite songs. There is no on there to laugh!
Make friends. If you are lucky enough that you are in the elevator with other people, be friendly and use the opportunity to get to know someone new, someone you probably would have never otherwise met. You might find yourselves building a camaraderie that turns into a long lasting friendship. You never know!
Help other people. If you are able to, use your calmness to soothe other people’s worries and fears. Share your food and water, if you have them, and assure everyone help is coming. If you keep your cool, you might find the rest of the elevator’s passengers will follow your lead.
But avoid playing the hero. Don’t be tempted to try something crazy like climbing through the elevator’s roof door. It is dangerous and you could hurt yourself. But if the situation is so desperate that you must try to exit on your own, be sure to press the elevator’s stop button first.
About the Author: Richard Tucker is a mechanical engineer specializing in elevator replacement parts. In his free time, Rich enjoys freelance writing and speculating on what he would do if trapped in an elevator.