Dealing with Emotions During Disaster

by | Feb. 08, 2011


Disasters take an emotional toll on everyone. From victims to volunteers, people need to find a way to deal with anxiety and stress. This is such an important concept, the Red Cross has been known to send psychologists to help people cope with the emotional distress that can accompany a disaster.

Don’t just assume you’ll be able to cope; prepare yourself by following these simple suggestions:

Do the Drill
Taking the time to do earthquake and fire drills with your family will help to alleviate stress now and during the disaster. You will feel better now because you will know that everyone knows what to do, and if an emergency does occur, your family will be calm and prepared because they will be familiar with the steps they must take.

Play Pretend
Set aside time to pretend that you must live off your emergency kit. You could spend a whole weekend, or even just an evening doing this. Make it something fun and informative. Using the items in your kit and adding things to the kit that you feel it is lacking will help familiarize you with what you have and better prepare you to be calm when you must use it again.

Creature Comforts
Don’t hesitate to add a few extra things to your emergency plan that are completely for entertainment and comfort. Crayons and coloring books, along with a few toys for young children will add that extra comfort they will need during a crisis. Consider packing books or crossword puzzles to keep your mind occupied. Desserts, though they seem superfluous, are very comforting during a disaster. Perhaps you could add MRE desserts, just add water mixes, and other snacks to your emergency kits and long term food storage.

As you prepare your family for the future, don’t forget to do a few simple things that will help save your sanity!

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