How to Keep Your Cool in a Disaster
At the onset of an emergency, will you panic or will you know how to keep your cool in ANY disaster? Think about this for a minute. Do a mental fire drill or disaster scenario in your home setting. Scary thought, but doing a preparedness exercise could save your life.
I had a reader suggest I do a post (thank you, Naomi) on how to handle a disaster. “Have you ever written about or thought of writing about how to stay calm during a Hurricane or other extremely bad weather? I’m the nervous one in the family (I worry about everything), my husband is usually calmer except when there is very bad weather and we have to stay in the house for more than one day. He won’t use Essential Oils so I had to find another way. I close all the blinds, light a lot of candles, turn on every flashlight we have and turn on my small boom box. It is operated by plugging in or 4 “D” batteries (I make sure to keep them in stock at all times). We have a lot of “calming” music, comedians doing their “shtick”, Star Wars, Star Trek tapes and CD’s.
It started with Sandy and continued with bad snow storms and now with Joaquin. I also make hot tea, (before all this starts) put it in a closed zcontainer on the counter. Even though it is room temperature it stills calms him down.
When I hear there is going to be bad weather, we both charge our cell phones but only turn on one of them until the phone “dies” then we turn on the other one. Also, we keep charcoal and lighter fluid in stock year round. Once the storms are over and the sun is out I take whatever is in the freezer that is still good but cannot be re-frozen. I get out my crock pot, the barbecue and every cooking pot I have and cook up all the food and then refreeze it.”
Naomi has some great ideas on keeping her family as calm as possible during some scary times.
I believe the ticket to being calm during any type of scary situation is to be prepared BEFORE any situation arises. There is no way possible to know what might happen, especially in the world we live in today. No one expected 911 to take place. The recent situation with the downed Russian airliner was certainly not on any sane person’s mind. So just what is a good way to get prepared?
What types of emergencies could your geographical location generate?
- Ice storms
- Wild fires
Each type of emergency will require special planning. In some situations, there cannot be any or much prior warning. It would be wise to do all, humanly possible, preparations before disaster strikes. For situations where you will not be able to stay in your home, have a bug-out-bag (B.O.B.) prepared for each individual and animal in your household. Have an arranged meeting place in the event a disaster strikes while family members are separated so everyone knows where to go.
Make sure your bag includes:
- Emergency contact information
- Medications and copies of prescriptions
- Emergency food and water
- Toilet paper and moist wipes
- Essential oils
- Identification and pictures of family members for each person’s bag in case you get separated
- Insurance information
- Cash – ATM’s may be down
- Special need items for babies, sick, or other special requirements
- Change of clothes and extra underwear
- A special toy and book to comfort a child and/or a chew toy for a dog
- Pack your animals shot records too and make sure they are chipped and have identification tags. Many animals were lost during Katrina and the lucky ones that were rescued often were never reunited with their families. Do not leave your animals behind in cages or tied up. They cannot get out of the way if water or fire enters the home.
- Prearrange for your animals to go to special pet shelters if you do have to evacuate
Pack as much as possible, but, keep in mind not to bring anything that you can do without. Carrying extra weight will only add to your stress.
To further address Naomi’s question about hurricane preparedness, remember to have supplies in your home well before any hurricane is even predicted. We live in Florida were hurricanes are always a consideration. Before I realized how important it is to be prepared for many different scenarios, we did prepare annually for the possibility of hurricanes. This state has seen the devastation they can bring. Anyone who has witnessed the news just before a hurricane, has the mental picture of hordes of people rushing out to get water, milk, food, diapers, batteries, generators, tarps and other such items. Unfortunately, many people find empty shelves and become totally dependent on various rescue services in the aftermath of a disaster. Although the emergency responders do the best they can, you cannot depend on anyone rescuing you. In mass disasters first responders can only be in so many places.
If you do an annual preparation for a disaster such as a hurricane, you will eliminate a great deal of stress when the threat of a disaster presents itself. You won’t be in the swarm of people trying to snatch up life sustaining supplies. Make sure you own a crank/battery/electric operated weather radio. This will keep you up to date on how the storm is progressing. Listen to what the weather experts say. If you are in harm’s way, don’t try to be a hero and guard your property. Your life and the life of your family is more important than “stuff”. Remember what happened in Katrina. Lives were needlessly lost because people did not heed the warnings.
In any disaster, people who embrace the preparedness lifestyle will have a better opportunity of surviving. Knowing you have preparations for the likely and unlikely disaster scenario gives a sense of relief. I believe this is one of the most important reasons many people participate in preparedness in the first place. The story of the ant and the grasshopper always comes into my mind. I can rest better knowing we have done everything we can to protect and provide for our family.
Often, the non-preparedness community will say they do not have the funds to buy extra food, water, and supplies. I understand money can be tight. If it is tight now, what would you do to purchase necessary supplies if some unthinkable disaster were to present itself? If you can spend money on soda, alcohol, candy and other non-nutritional fake foods, you can afford to have some preparedness supplies. You might consider occasionally giving up a social outing to purchase supplies. Each time you go shopping, pick up an item that you can put away just in case something unexpected happens. If you do this each time you go to the market, you will be surprised at how much you can acquire without noticing it in your wallet.
Preparedness is the key to coming to grips with unexpected and frightening situations. For me, it makes my everyday living less stressful. I know we have done and continue to do incremental additions to our preparedness supplies and lifestyle. As you progress along the way, you can expand your preparedness to include security measures, entertainment, learn new skills for the many areas necessary to sustain a comfortable life even if all the current merchants and electrical devises became nonexistent. Knowledge is power and may be the most valuable tool in any preparedness arsenal. For me, the one thing that stands out in being prepared for as many frightening situations is the peace that it brings. The thought of having supplies and the added skills known and recently acquired decreases my stress level in a monumental way. You too, can attain a much calmer and stress free life by doing your part to prepare.
If you would like more in-depth information on many areas of preparedness, visit Blue Jean Mama’s website. Subscribe to receive a weekly article to keep you more informed on your journey in self sufficient living.