The present is the key to the past and the path to the future…so we all need to be prepared for future natural disasters.
Take time in the present to focus on how you want to react in a future stressful moment. Too many of us once again experienced the dread of a natural disaster in progress, too close to home. In those first few moments when you realize that a disaster is unfolding, do you feel prepared to enact the plan you have in place? Too many are not prepared & do not have a plan. If you are prepared your plan might look something like this:
Check safety/wellness of housemates & pets
If house or property is compromised turn off gas/electricity/water
Grab Go Bags (pre-packed), keys, & top 5-10 important items (pre-planned)
Evacuate if in immediate danger
Look up disaster updates: Appreciating Earth emergency resource page
If you are not in immediate danger and have the luxury of time to consider your next action, take a few breaths, and know that by completing the above steps you have done everything you can to take care of yourself and your family thus far. While natural disasters are unfolding and your stress levels are elevated, your body is preparing to react to a dangerous situation, even if your mind is lagging behind. Muscles that help you move faster tense, your breath rate changes, your blood pressure increases, and your fight or flight instincts kick in.
So, once the immediate danger has passed, calm your body by deep & slow belly breathing and stretching for a few minutes. This is how I reduce anxiety during wildfires, pandemics, and other natural disasters…I’m anxious because I’m not ready, and when I’m ready I’m less anxious. Anxiety is natural response to stress, the fear and apprehension you feel because something in your environment is not safe. The danger may be real, and the only thing you can do is be prepared to keep yourself as safe as possible...but you cannot prepare in the moment of an emergency, as the definition of the word prepare is "to make ready beforehand".
Your body will react faster, calmer, and will recover easier if you have been practicing endurance, strength, & flexibility. You do all that exercise (exercise comes from the Latin word meaning to practice) to allow yourself to feel good everyday & for your body to be ready to support you when you end up in a stressful situation.
Can you reduce that future stress right now and feel the relief of knowing that you already know what to do in a lot of non-ideal situations? How many of you witnessed the natural disasters that have unfolded in the last few months and thought “I should have a bag packed, or list made, or plan in place?” Every person who faced the disaster and had no plan, wished they had planned in advance.
So what do you need to do to prepare? Pack Go Bags, make a list of what to do and what to grab if you have to evacuate, exercise regularly, and make sure you know what emergency resources to refer to when things go sideways.
Overwhelmed? You are not alone. Book a 30-minute Natural Disaster Preparedness Consult with Nicole. Let me me help you focus on the initial steps, so you can start feeling more prepared.