Natural disasters and most emergencies are beyond your control, but you can lessen their impact on your family’s health and safety. Preparation and planning done ahead of time can help keep you calm, cool, and collected in an emergency. Take time before an event to improve your family’s health preparedness. In doing so, you can gain confidence in your ability to respond to, withstand, and recover from stress and adversity of an emergency.
- Find and practice healthy ways to cope with everyday stress:
- Get involved in your community. Take your mind off your problems by helping a neighbor or volunteering with an organization active in disasterexternal icon.
- Connect with individuals (e.g., family, friends, and neighbors) and social networks (e.g., community and faith-based groups, and online communities)
- Take care of yourself: Eat healthy, exercise regularly, take breaks from work and the news, learn relaxation techniquesexternal icon like meditation and deep breathing, and seek help when needed.
- Learn new and refresh old practical skills to gain confidence in your capability to respond quickly and constructively in a crisis.
- Stay informed. When you feel that you are missing information, you may become stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read information from trusted sources, including CDC and your state and local health departments. Sharing factual information from verified sources can help reduce your stress and others’.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, and your own feelings can change over time. It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after an emergency. If these feelings persist for several days or prevent you from going about your daily life and routine, seek professional help.
- Talk with people you trust (e.g., friends and family) about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Call a pastor, counselor, or mental healthcare provider. Include contact information for these people in your emergency action plan.
- Call or text the Disaster Distress Helplineexternal icon at 800-985-5990.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).