Stay Calm: Quick Tips
- Being prepared can help you stay calm and clear-headed in a response. Build and maintain an emergency supplies kit and emergency action plan. Update your supplies and review your plan every six (6) months:
- Remove, use, and replace any food and water, prescription medications, and supplies before they expire.
- Update your plans as needed; for example, if you move, change jobs, add to your family (i.e., a child or a pet), or experience another significant life event.
- Test drive your emergency (e.g., hurricane, wildfire, tsunami) evacuation routes to identify gas stations, hospitals, urgent cares, etc. along the way. Emergency evacuations are stressful but knowing where you’re going and how to get there can help make the experience easier to handle.
- Shop responsibly. Buy what your family needs and leave some for others. Do not buy more supplies than you need to prepare for or in response to an emergency.
- Talk to your health care provider about creating an emergency supply of essential medications.
- Include your entire family, including pets, in practicing emergency action plans. Training pets to be in their carriers can make them feel more comfortable and help reduce the stress of an evacuation.
- Know where your pet might hide when stressed or scared. Practice catching your pet, if needed.
- Involve kids in age-appropriate emergency preparations to help them develop the skills and self-confidence they will need to respond in an emergency. Download age-appropriate resources, such as Ready Wrigley activity books, that you can use to explain emergency preparedness and to help kids cope with traumatic events.
- Participate in emergency drills and exercises like the Great ShakeOut earthquake drillsexternal icon for the practice and peace of mind of knowing how to respond to an emergency.
- Keep a copy of the Disaster Distress Helpline wallet cardexternal icon in your “Go Bag” as a quick reference if—over time—in case you have trouble coping.
- If getting prepared feels too big, make it smaller. Chip away at getting and staying prepared one day (or month), one thing at time. Initiatives like Do 1 Thingexternal icon can help you break down the job of preparing your health into smaller, easily achievable tasks.
- Establish routines (e.g., learning, bed, and bath time) and flexible schedules (e.g., meal, screen, play time) now that you can stick to—feasibly—in an emergency. After a disaster, it can be useful to engage in activities that help you regain a sense of control.
- Know how to ask good questions of caregivers, health care professionals, and emergency responders, identify helpful resources and points of contact, and build a strong social network that you can call on with questions and for support.
Page last reviewed: October 1, 2020, 11:15 AM
Content source: Center for Preparedness and Response