*Preparing for Disaster *
Trauma’s impact
By: WilsonD
14 December 2009

We prepare for material shortages in order to minimize the impact that a lack of resources would have on our ability to function. Have you given due consideration to the emotional impact of disasters and other traumatic events? We must prepare for trauma in order to minimize the toll critical stress takes on our ability to function. The effects of trauma can be as debilitating as the physical impacts of disaster or crisis. It can result in mental health issues that permanently change people.

It is not enough to assume all will be well when trouble comes just because we are physically ready for it. It is a serious mistake to fall back on the fact that one is “tough”, unemotional or self-disciplined. We must deliberately develop stress management skills now, otherwise when trouble hits we will end up suffering more than we have to – and the results can be disastrous. The ability to manage major stress pays off in better decision-making as well as effective action taking. Every one of us wants to be at our best during an emergency – here is another area we must address to ensure just that.

Therefore proper emotional preparation for trauma is an essential part of any preparedness plan. Every one of us will experience various traumatic events throughout our lives. We may never have to survive a major disaster such as a hurricane or a war, but every one of us will lose a loved one. Be prepared. The better your emotional state before a traumatic event, the better you will manage during and afterwards.

Using good coping skills daily will pay off in hard times. Adopt the following behaviours and adapt them to what works for you:

Doing these things can really help to give you a sense of hope and confidence when facing challenges - which further enhances your ability to cope with, and to overcome adversity.


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