Hurricane Preparedness – Mental Preparation Before The Storm

Tropical Storm Karl, Hurricanes Igor and Julia

Image by NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Flickr

You Know It’s Coming . . .

Anticipation of something bad happening is very often worse than the actual event, and anticipating the arrival of a major hurricane can be an extremely distressing time for those who live in the hurricane’s path.  There are so many things to think about, the potential harm to your loved ones and your property, what if you need to be evacuated, what about your work, your financial situation. It’s little wonder that people who are “waiting for the hurricane” go through feelings of anxiety, stress and fear. Don’t worry, it’s pretty normal, but it does help if you recognize these emotional signs and take steps to be prepared for them.

Here’s what you can do in order to make sure that you are mentally prepared to deal with whatever the hurricane may throw at you . . . in a manner of speaking!

How To Stay Emotionally Strong When a Hurricane is Coming

  • Have a plan – there are plenty of plan ideas on the rest of these pages so make sure that you have hurricane emergency plans in place – once you know in your head that you are as prepared as you can possibly be then you will be less likely to become anxious. Plan for yourself, your family, your pets, your property . . . “fail to prepare and prepare to fail” . . . I know that wasn’t particularly about hurricanes, but I’ve borrowed it anyway, it seems to fit in quite nicely.
  • Get the facts – you’ll probably be inundated by bits of information coming at you in all directions, but make sure that you get reliable information from a credible source, and don’t listen to those who seem to focus on the destruction and damage caused by hurricanes. It’s a bit like watching “The Perfect Storm” just before heading out on a fishing trip isn’t it . . . totally inappropriate.
  • Stay healthy – a healthy body can cope with potentially disastrous situations and enable you to make the right type of decisions and deal with the uncertainties which will be thrown at you. Enjoy a healthy lifestyle, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of rest and regular exercise, it really can make a difference.
  • Help your children – reassure your children that you are completely prepared to deal with the oncoming hurricane and that plans are in place to cover all eventualities. Keep them updated on the latest news and information, and try to keep them to their usual routine as much as possible. Keep calm and those around you will be calm too.
  • Be upbeat and positive – maintaining a hopeful outlook can help to keep your spirits, and the spirits of those around you firmly up. Remember, you are not alone, the federal government, the state government and lots of disaster services are all on alert and things will work out okay – hopefully.

There’s a lot of truth in the thought that you should only worry about the things you can do something about, not the things you can’t have any control over, and as long as you have done everything possible to prepare for a hurricane, then you can do no more.

What To Do If There Is A Hurricane Watch

  • Listen out for updated information, either on an NOAA weather radio or local radio and TV stations. Hurricanes can quickly change direction, speed etc, meaning that what might have been a minor inconvenience a few hours ago could quickly escalate into a major disaster waiting to happen.
  • Listen to what the local officials tell you to do, and do as you’re told.
  • Fill up your gas tank.
  • Turn up the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting possible.
  • Unplug any small appliances
  • Prepare your property to deal with potentally high winds

What To Do If There Is A Hurricane Warning

Now you know that things are getting serious;

  • Listen to the NOAA weather radio, alternatively a local TV or radio station for the latest updates.
  • If officials tell you to leave . . . go as soon as possible. Don’t forget to take your disaster supply kit with you, follow the instructions you are given.
  • If you are told not to evacuate then stay indoors, preferably on the first floor and well away from windows, glass doors and skylights. The safest place to be is in a small interior room with no windows. Keep as many walls between yourself and the outside as possible.
  • Make sure that all interior doors are closed, and external doors locked and braced.
  • Keep a good supply of flashlights (with good batteries) at the ready.
  • Store plenty of clean drinking water in plastic bottles, cooking utensils, sinks, bathtubs etc.
  • If you lose power make sure that you turn off any major appliances to reduce the possibility of a power surge when it is eventually restored.
  • Watch out for flooding.
  • Watch out for tornadoes.

 

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