How to mentally prepare yourself for disasters

Preparing your mind for disaster is not a comfortable undertaking; most of us would instead not send our attention in that direction. Those who refuse to think about catastrophe are those whose minds tend to become somewhat absurd when chaos strikes-and that can expose them to harm or destruction. 

We need our minds to be present and think fast when disaster strikes. It means the difference between life and death.

So how does one ready the mind for such cold, painful situations? It all starts with understanding that “bad things can happen to good people” and then resolving what those things may be. 

Rather than action in fear, fixing the mind is an exercise in the ‘what to do if…’ type of reasoning. For example, weather damage is a relatively common kind of disaster. Depending on what region of the world or nation one resides in, there are reasonably common cycles of climate problems. 

California is known for torrential rain, cycles of wildfires, earthquakes, and mudslides. It’s a ‘given’ that after a wildfire destroys an area, it gets hit with incredible amounts of rain, and the open hillsides-now void of vegetation to hold the dirt-slide off, taking houses along for the ride.

In the Tornado Alley areas of Texas and Oklahoma, it’s not uncommon to have entire villages wiped off the planet in an evening. There’s Kansas, where Toto landed in an entirely different dimension after a twister! Some ice-storms and torrential floods leave thousands either without electricity or homeless every year in the East. Those are all “natural” disasters that occur with routine every year. Things like the tsunamis and earthquakes that hit Indonesia and the earthquake that left Haiti as a heap of rubble are things that no one could prepare for. Still, a little more proximity with Nature might have at least warned about (the animals who were able to take off for more protected ground).

What about more personal tragedies, such as a work accident or house fire? How many thousands of people encounter such things every day but are prepared for such circumstances? In other words, how close to the side of being homeless do the bulk of humans live? To prepare yourself, think about that for a few minutes. 

What would you do if the ‘unimaginable’ happened? 

Start imagining it through now, so you at least have a spot to start if it does happen. Most survivors recognize that they had thought about what to do in such situations at least once; this allowed them to respond in ways that protected their lives and others’.

To prepare the mind for unfortunate times does not mean to become absorbed in ones’ own morbidity or saddened by the many things that can go back. 

Preparation is the best thing one can do to possess peace of mind if you know you have imagined what to do and have made some practices “just in case…” you’ll sleep better and go through life happier. 

Here are a few ways you can mentally prepare yourself for disasters:

  1. Planning and Research: Keep a plan ready to tackle upcoming disasters. Science journals have a brilliant prediction rate with climate, earthquakes, and Tsunamis. Check the history of the region you live in to know better what can transpire in the future.
  2. Physically Fit: Physical fitness is the need during evacuations before any disaster. Yoga, outdoor sports, and gym will do no wrong to you.
  3. Create an Emergency Plan With Your Family: If your region gets flooded every year, its’ always good to keep an emergency plan ready with your family. One of the most important plans is an escape plan. Keeping an emergency exit is a must if your town experiences regular wildfires.
  4. Stock Up on Emergency Supplies: Fire Blankets, face masks, food, etc., should always be stocked-up depending on the type of upcoming disaster you are anticipating. Emergency supplies can include a torch, Flashlights with Extra batteries, sleeping bags, compass, local and regional maps of your area, extra cash, anti-viral medicines, and emergency whistles.

Here is how you cope up after surviving a disaster:

  • Talk with someone about your feelings — sorrow, anger and other emotions — even though it may be hard.
  • Do not hold yourself accountable for the disastrous event or be disappointed because you cannot assist directly with the rescue work.
  • Take steps to improve your own emotional and physical healing by healthy eating,exercise, rest, meditation, and relaxation.
  • Maintain a typical family and daily routine, limiting troublesome responsibilities on yourself and your family.
  • Spend time with friends and families. Life is always ‘too short.’
  • Participate in memorials in your neighborhood. 

Life is all about choices in every second. If one succumbs to everything financially, one can choose to shrug and move on or jump off the tallest building; the latter is an incorrect choice. Fixing the mind for drastic changes is the cornerstone that allows us to continue in the face of unwelcome, terrible, and devastating change. As in my favorite movie, Star Wars, Yoda said: “Change is good…it’s not always easy.”

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