Mental and physical preparedness during a disaster September 15, 2017

Here are some lessons being learned in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean

What we have seen occur in Texas and Florida during Hurricane Irma.

Mental preparedness equation: People were told to evacuate but some chose to stay. “I will be ok, I have some water and food and live on second floor, I do not want to leave all my pets, I do not want to leave the family home and all its memories or it won’t be that bad”. Then there are those who simply freeze up and simply cannot process all the information. Old age, limited mobility, and sensory processing issues can also negatively impact one’s ability to respond.

In the case of those who made a deliberate decision to stay, they had their reasons and in some cases they may have been partially justified but in most cases, they failed to remove the emotional from the logical and they as well as their friends and family paid a high price.

It is critical that one separate emotion from any decision on survival. The key word here is survival and that word alone must dictate every action you take. Material items such as photos and pieces of furniture or gold fish, while seeming to be very important in your life, do not take priority over your physical and mental well being.

Physical preparedness: Part of what has been noted over the years is that when people are not physically fit or prepared, their ability to function mentally also fails them. An example of this is a person who becomes lost and realizes they do not have all the equipment they want or think they need to spend a night or longer in the woods. They often freeze up mentally and spend the night shivering in the dark hearing all the sounds in the bush and did not prepare a makeshift shelter or gather enough firewood to get them through the night.

You do not want to become that proverbial deer caught in the head lights so make sure of two things. One that you try and keep in good or decent physical shape, and this does not mean that you must be able to bench press 500 Lbs to walk to safety! Two, that you have the equipment you need to stay in place or leave safely.

Whether you decide to stay of flee, take some time to review the free tips below and visit our site for more details.

1. How long will your water and food last? Fridge or freezer contents are on what power?

2. Cooking, how will you do that and how long will your fuel last? Remember, to look at what you count on for power. Electrical and natural gas or even your exterior propane tank may not be available. Few people appreciate all the moving parts the city or utilities provide and how they are often co-dependent on each other.

3. How long will your medicine last and does it need refrigeration or power to work.

4. You want dry bedding, clothing and footwear.

5. A quality First aid kit can be a life saver so do not count on 2 Band-Aids and a few alcohol swabs. You must have quality bandages, gauze, antibiotic cream, sun screen, tooth ache oil, headache or pain tablets, eye and ear drops, an eye patch, arm sling or “ace Bandage” etc.

6. You must have quality rain jackets, spare eyewear, hats, back packs, strong shovels, buckets, pumps and other tools. Remember, anything electrical needs power!

7. How will you recharge a dead cell phone or GPS unit? Do not forget all the cables and adapters you need to charge smart devices.

8. If your roof or home is damaged, you must have some spare parts while recovery process unfolds over a few days or even weeks? Having a tarp to repair a room or window can help, even setting up a tent in your home may help keep mosquitos and other pests away. Make sure you have duct tape to attach a tarp to walls and seal off the elements or insects. Sheets of ¾ plywood along with 2×4’s, long screws and nails etc.

9. When you depend on your car, boat, ATV or plane to take you to safety, you also know that Murphy’s Law can strike at any moment. Always keep this potentially lifesaving equipment in top shape. Keep any grab and go bag/s freshly restocked and ready to leave with you when needed and that they fit in whatever vehicle you are using to leave.

Remember that a disaster can be forecast a week or two in advance and provide you time to get ready or they can occur in a day from now. So if you have been too busy before, take the time now to review our site and go over the list of items and concepts we recommend.

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