Hello friend! Welcome back to learning more about what it means to be mentally prepared. This week, I want to focus on mental preparedness for natural disasters.

As I mentioned last time, being mentally prepared is more important than being physically prepared– especially during natural disasters. By now, you should have a good idea of what to watch out for in your area. If not, I encourage you to make a list. Not out of fear but in making a conscious effort to know what you need to prepare for.

Story Time 

Just a couple of weeks ago, our area of the US experienced a variety of storms. One of those days in particular brought an onslaught of hail pounding the windows like a flock of birds in a horror movie and the fear of a tornado hot on their tracks. Thank the Lord we didn’t have a tornado and the worst of the storm passed. I was able to make it to work during a calm period. The sun even decided to say hello for about an hour. But while at work, another wave came upon us and I could see through the small warehouse windows that the sky looked a bit green and grew dark within minutes.

Friend, I didn’t realize until that moment that I had no idea what the plan was for a tornado. I’ll be honest and say I was close to having a panic attack. See, I have a plan for when I’m at home or at school but never thought through a plan for while at work.

Again, no tornado touched down and the sky cleared before sunset. I made myself think through scenarios and where the safest place in that building would be for when another storm like that decided to grace us with its presence. I was able to discuss with my shift lead through safety measures as well so we were on the same page.

Now that a plan is in place, I know exactly what to do and where to go. 

I never want to be in that situation again, full of panic, but the reality is we are always learning new things. There are situations I haven’t had to prepare for because there hadn’t been a need to possibly experience them. For instance: a real earthquake or hurricanes.

Mental Exercises

Now that you’ve gotten your list, I encourage you to write down what you need to do for each scenario: where to go, what to grab, who’s with you, etc.

If you live alone, this practice will be easier, but if you live with others like roommates or family, definitely make sure to include them in this practice as well so you’re all on the same page.

Work through each scenario no matter what it is.

  • Fire: determine the best exits and designate a place outside of your home to meet up.
  • Tornado: determine the safest place to wait it out and what you will need during this time.
  • Power Outage: put together a Blackout Kit. Baby to Boomer blog has a great list I highly recommend checking out!
  • Snow Storm: make sure your Winter Storm kit is put together and you have a plan for staying warm while essentially bugging in at home.

The ready.gov website has a lot of great resources if you still need help on where to start.

Never Fear, Your Plan is Here!

The best way to fight fear is with a plan. Sure, you will still experience some varying degree of fear during these situations but it will no longer control you.

During my last tornado scare back in Texas a few years ago, I had a plan and waited the storm out. But let me tell you, I was still shaking and watching the weather app for updates and keeping tabs on my family. I was prepared to the best of my ability.

Friend, that’s all we can be during natural disasters. Anything can and could go wrong, but if we’re prepared for the possible other side of the disaster, we’re one step ahead of the game.

Once you have your plans in place, run through the scenarios in your mind. Also walk through the scenario in your home or workplace. Don’t be afraid to think over the worst case scenarios. Being prepared for the worst is still better than having a vague idea.

If you want to take your preparedness to a whole new level, I highly recommend looking into joining a CERT team in your area. CERT teams prepare for disasters and help out first responders when these situations happen. They’re a great resource for preparing and learning with a more hands-on approach.

I’ll talk more about CERT in a later post and why I enjoyed my time with my team in Texas. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on that!

Until next time, happy prepping!