• Take steps to avoid stress from the storm


    Contact loved ones, if possible, so it’s known that everyone is OK.

    Stay connected with your community, friends, relatives and neighbors. Don’t let yourself become isolated.

    Expect to go through the natural grieving process — denial, questioning, acceptance and recovery.

    Stress might begin for you as early as the start of hurricane season. Don’t wait until the crisis is nearly on us to first work on managing your stress or seeking help .

    You might experience short tempers, a reluctance to abandon your property, guilt over having been unable to better prevent damage, flashbacks of the ordeal, difficulty in making decisions and letting pride get in the way of accepting help. Recognize these as effects from the crisis that will pass. Talk about your feelings with friends or relatives, or if necessary contact social agencies for help.

    You’ll find yourself worn out as recovery drags on and you yearn to return to normalcy. Pay attention to your physical health. Make sure you’re eating properly and getting plenty of rest.

    Avoid drugs or alcohol. You need to be alert.

    Avoid argument and confrontation. You need teamwork and camaraderie to get through recovery.

    If you’ve escaped injury or damage, it’s natural to experience “survivor’s guilt.” Don’t push yourself too hard trying to help others.

    Seniors or the disabled might not be strong enough to prepare homes, install window coverings and drive to get supplies.

    Make sure both their needs and their mental health are taken care of and that they have plenty of supporters.

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