Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Being Mentally Prepared

If what I have seen on the news is any indication, it looks like the hardest part of any crisis is the shock you feel when something big and unexpected hits you in the face.  It must be hard to come up with a plan when all you can think about is how unexpected this change in your life is.

That said, how do you become mentally prepared for emergencies?  Few of us want to spend extra time dwelling on potential problems.  I think our grandmothers would have called that borrowing trouble.

As pleasant as it may not be, it is important to mentally walk through an emergency plan before it happens. Knowing what to do, where to go, and who to call for help will reduce a lot of stress down the road.  It will also help you determine your needs in case of emergency.  Having those needs identified and planned for can make a huge difference.

Planning ahead and thinking through an emergency does not have to be a depressing activity, it can be one of empowerment.  Taking charge of what is usually free for all type activity can leave you with a sense of peace.

So how do you become mentally prepared?  Here are a few ideas I have come up with, please add any additional thoughts in the comments.
  1. Identify what you will need to know in an emergency.  This information will be a little different for different types of emergencies, but the core things will stay the same.  While you are thinking this through, it is a good time to gather the information you have identified. (Prepared Binder is a great place to gather this case you were wondering!)
  2. Figure out what supplies you will need.  Once again, your supply list will vary based on what emergency you are planning for, but core items will remain the same.  This is a good time to organize supplies, be it camping gear, 72 hour kits or food storage.  Not all emergencies require supplies, but having the things you need readily located will help everyone.
  3. Think about medical needs.  Many of us take daily medications.  Emergencies can often disrupt medication supplies or at the very least, change who is in charge of administering medications.  If you or your children take medications, take the time to document what you use, what dosage you take and the time of day it is given.  What seems like a small thing can become a huge problem if not considered during an emergency.
  4. Find refuge.  Not all emergencies require you to leave your home, in fact most don't, however emergencies very often require us to seek the help of others. Figure out who your refuge from the "storm of emergency" will be. Knowing where to turn will make things a lot easier.
  5. Identify assets.  Assets can be monetary, but they can also be skills, knowledge, supplies, etc.  Knowing what you have to use in an emergency will help you notice holes while you still have time to fill them.
So there you go, five ways to become mentally prepared.  Planning events out in your mind will give you the time to learn new skills, locate information and practice your plan.  Those activities, coupled with your mental preparation will leave you in a much better position to deal with the emergencies in our lives.

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