Depending on your location, natural disasters like earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe winter storms can occur quite often. Unfortunately, too many of us wait until the last minute to prepare ourselves with things like emergency kits, tools, and natural disaster plans. And even fewer of us are prepared for the aftermath. It’s important that we know what to expect, both physically and emotionally, after the disaster has passed.
Recovering from Natural Disasters
Listed below are four Mindful tips for recovering from natural disasters.
- Ensure your safety. After the dangerous conditions have passed the first thing you should do is ensure your family’s safety. If you were taking shelter in your home and it appears to be unsafe now, find temporary shelter by texting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for information. Or if you’ve already evacuated your home stay up-to-date on the events in the area so you’ll know when you can return.
- Clean up carefully. When it comes time for you to clean up your property do so cautiously. First, you’ll need protective gear like gloves, safety glasses, and work boots. Then do a preliminary inspection of the area, be wary of hazards like gas leaks and broken power lines. Next, to prevent injury, work in teams to carefully clear away debris. Be sure to have food, water, and medical supplies on hand too.
- Coping emotionally. FEMA notes many people suffer from disaster-related stress and trauma symptoms including difficulty sleeping, disorientation, feeling of guilt or self-doubt, feelings of hopelessness, and fear of crowds or being alone. If you or someone you know exhibit similar symptoms know that it’s best to talk about these feelings with family and friends or seek professional help. You can also promote healthy healing by meditating, joining support groups, and maintaining a routine during the aftermath.
- Helping others. It takes the help of a community to rebuild a community. We can help in numerous ways from monetary donations to donating necessities to our neighbors like food, water, and other emergency supplies. Or we can join local organizations to help clean up our town.