While I was principal of a large high school in the city, I once served with an assistant principal who saliently captured an excellent measure of “emergency” response.
When others would be “on fire” about bells not working, buses being late, a food fight in the cafeteria, a malfunctioning fire alarm, this assistant principal regularly brought the team back to reality with a phrase that we had heard from him a million times: “Hey, there ain’t nobody dying here.”
He had a way of helping us sift through the clutter of urgency and the perceived level of emergency by framing it against a REAL barometer of alarm – life threatening situations.
Whatever our workplace, there are perceived “emergencies”: Late shipments, phone systems that don’t work, spilled milk, flat tires, rain when we need to be planting, etc., etc., etc. Almost all of those “emergencies” are best dealt with in a calm, reasonable, and attentive fashion – just without panic.
I once read that emergency room physicians are taught to respond to all emergencies in a leisurely fashion. There is a reason those physicians don’t panic – it never improves (and almost always worsens) the effectiveness of response. (And those folks frequently ARE dealing with life-threatening situations.)
Reacting to adversity in a measured and judicious way (without panic) is a learnable skill. We can launch that learning beginning NOW (especially if being "on fire" doesn't seem to be working for us).