Dealing With Stress In An Emergency

Handling stress during a prolonged emergency situation can be very difficult to say the least. How you handle this stress may make the difference between life and death.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, earthquake, winter storm, or any of the many incidents that can leave us without power and holed up in our homes most people’s stress levels will be at an all time high.  Lowering both your own stress level and that of your family is very important to getting through an event like this smoothly and with fewer after effects.  Many times people who have had a tough time during a natural disaster suffer some of the same types of post-traumatic stress disorders that we see in military veterans.  Albeit on a smaller scale, but still for children it can be particularly difficult.

So, in order to be ready you should include items in your Prepping stores specifically targeted at reducing the amount of stress on your loved ones.

First of all, the power is most likely out.  Dark nights are no fun for kids (or adults even) so be prepared to properly and safely light up the space you’re in.  Emergency candles are okay but larger LED lanterns are much much better and can run up to 100 hours on one set of batteries.  If you’re turning them on just 5 or 6 hours a night (before everyone goes to sleep) that’s two to three weeks of light from just one set of batteries.  Not bad.  Glow sticks are also a great thing to have for youngsters to keep near their beds.  They give off quite a bit of light, they’re safer than candles, and kids generally think they’re fun.

With the power out and no TV the next thing you’ll need is entertainment.  We recently had a small power outage in our area and the TV was off for an evening so the wife and I busted out some of the classic games like charades and pictionary to keep the kids entertained.  I like these two games in particular as all you need is a couple pencils and some paper and you can really make a fun evening.  Books are great as well as long as you have enough light to read.  The lanterns I mentioned earlier put out more than enough light for several people to read by.  Small LED book lights that run on AA batteries are great as well.  I use one at night before going to sleep and they seem to run forever on just a couple of batteries.

Another thing to think about is medications.  A fair percentage of people in this country take medicines to help them manage their day to day anxiety and/or depression.  Having enough extra medicine on hand to get you through a time when you may not be able to get to a pharmacy for a refill, or when a pharmacy may not even be open, is critical.  If anyone in your family takes medicines on a regular basis you should check with your doctor to make sure you have an appropriate amount on hand for an emergency.

Having a few ways to keep your family entertained and their minds off of their current troubles will go a long way to getting you all through your predicament smoothly.  It’s certainly not difficult to prepare for this situation, you just have to add it to the list and make sure you’re Prepared.

~ Butch

4 Responses to Dealing With Stress In An Emergency

  1. I like working with wood and using hand tools. It relaxes me and at the same time it allows me to. Instruct things I may need while helping increase skill levels with hand tools. Skills will be important for sure.

  2. Lots and lots of books! Decks of cards. Conversations. Lanterns a must. Loved the article, even though we’re empty nesters (smile).

  3. Practice your survival plan, less stress when everyone knows what to expect. Probably won’t have any control over external events and the stress they’ll bring, but at least your home/camp will be a refuge instead of a constant source of aggravation when untested plans don’t work as designed.

  4. A winter storm should be merely an inconvenience.