Louisiana families are no strangers to disasters, and if we have learned anything from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, it is that family support and preparation can be keys to successful readiness and future recovery.
Talk with your family about any impending disaster. Avoiding the topic does not make it go away, and lack of information can be scary, particularly for young children. Hearing about it from the news media, classmates and other sources could create fear. Children also pick up on their parents’ emotions and react accordingly. The less stress you feel by being prepared, the less your family will experience stress. By being prepared you also feel a certain sense of control over your situation; a certain degree of reassurance. And it also gives family members an opportunity to focus on things they can do to help out rather than feel helpless.
Family members should create a plan before a disaster hits. First make an emergency plan, discussing the reasons why it is important. Brainstorm various potential scenarios, considering how your children might react in a disaster, how you might react and how the crisis could affect each person’s emotional and physical well-being. This gives everyone the time to think through and plan actions for real-life crises.
Plan in advance how to deal with the stress as well. Even if the disaster never comes to fruition, consider it a good exercise in case of future disasters. Once you have a plan, practice it as a family.
Preparing the Family
Preparing Older Adults or Special Needs Family Members
Preparing Your Pets
To prepare your pets before a disaster:
Being proactive will go a long way to dispel fears and reassure family members. For additional preparation information refer to:
Preparing Your Home for a Flood Prepare Your Business for a Disaster Preparing to Evacuate
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