Being prepared for whatever happens

February 24, 2012

Coping, Preparedness

Get prepared, know you are ready and face the future with a positive attitude. In other words, prepare for the worst and mentally plan for the best.

by Irene Conlan — 

Over the past few years we have seen multiple disasters around the world: earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, famines and massive snowstorms. Each has caused untold loss of life, possessions, buildings and businesses. defines the word disaster as “a calamitous event, especially one occurring suddenly and causing great loss of life, damage or hardship, as a flood, airplane crash or business failure.” In other words, you know that such an event is possible, but you do not know what its magnitude will be or when and where it will strike. Doing your best to prepare may not be enough and, if not, what do you do?

News reports often talk about the preparedness of the country or region involved and how the people coped with the situation as the disaster unfolded. Did they have a warning system and was it used effectively? Did they have an evacuation plan in place, and did it work? Did they have an emergency-response plan in place? Did they have a system in place to care for the dead and injured? What was their plan to supply food, water and shelter after the event subsided and rebuilding began?

There is only so much a country, a city or an individual can do to prepare for a disaster.

While this may seem like negative thinking, there comes a time when you need to plan how you will handle a disaster as an individual, as a family member and as a member of your community. Do your due diligence so you are as well prepared as possible, and then do not dwell on it. Get prepared, know you are ready and face the future with a positive attitude. In other words, prepare for the worst and mentally plan for the best.

You know that you should have a plan that provides for food, water and shelter. Many individuals and families store bottled water and canned foods in a place that is easily accessible. You also need to know what the emergency plan is for your state, city and area. But there is more to preparing for a disaster than providing for physical needs. It also includes emotional, mental and spiritual preparation. And just how do you go about doing that?

Preparing emotionally, mentally and spiritually for a disaster is the same as preparing for what you do on a regular basis if you are serious about improving your life. To prepare emotionally for a disaster, you simply need to step it up a bit.

Begin with an assessment of how you would react if you had a mini-disaster in your daily life: you have a fender bender and your car has to be towed; your house was broken into and you can hear the intruder downstairs; you are called by the school because your child was in an accident; or you just heard on the news that there is a tornado warning for your area.

In any one of these instances, you need to face the issue, and react quickly and appropriately. Many people have experienced such events. How did you react? If you are fortunate enough not to have experienced an emergency situation, then try to visualize what you would do and how you would respond. Be honest with yourself.

Consider the following:

  • How do you handle pressure? Do you fall apart or are you able to stay calm enough to assess what the situation truly is?
  • Do you rely on those around you or do you take steps to care for yourself and help others? Are you a leader or a follower? Both are needed in any crisis.
  •  What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have a clear idea of where you would fit in best in the face of a disaster?
  • What are the most important possessions in your life and what would you want to save if you only had a few minutes to do it? Do you have an emergency suitcase containing your essentials that you can grab at a moment’s notice?
  • What do you believe about the value and purpose of life?
  • Do you know what you believe about death and life after death? Are you afraid to die? Have you ever allowed yourself to think about it long enough to know what you believe? Everyone is going to die, and this is one of those issues that you need to resolve in accordance with your own belief system, before you are faced with a disaster.
  • Do you know how to go to that place within yourself that keeps you calm and peaceful, yet gives you strength? If not, it would be a good idea to explore or learn now, while you have the opportunity.
  • What is your source of strength?

When you have completed your self-survey, you will know where you need to focus and improve in order to cope and survive if things start falling apart around you. Hopefully, you will be able to keep a clear head, steady hands and a loving heart so that you can see to your own survival and the survival of those around you.

The good news is that this work contributes to your own growth and overall well-being in day-to-day living. It will serve you well if you have to meet a disaster head on, and it will serve you daily as you strive to be better, do better and achieve the happiness you long for.

Irene Conlan has a master’s degree in nursing, is a certified hypnotherapist and a certified past-life regression therapist in Scottsdale, Ariz. or

Reprinted from AZNetNews, Volume 30, Number 4, Aug/Sept. 2011.


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