From the BBC, highlighting the research of John Leach, University of Portsmouth.
So the only reliable way to shortcut this kind of impaired thinking, most survival experts agree, is by preparing for an emergency in advance. . . . Typically, survivors survive not because they are braver or more heroic than anyone else, but because they are better prepared.
Link via Instapundit who observes, "Maybe a little bit of panic is a good thing."