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Environmental Stressors:
Be Prepared and Reduce Stress 

Stressors or things that make you feel stressed come in all guises, from financial worries to screaming children.

However there is another area of our lives that although may not affect everyone, can be a major source of stress in our lives. I’m talking about natural disasters, things like:

  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Bush fires
  • Tsunamis

There are many areas of the world where natural disasters are more common place and are not such a shock to the world when they happen.

However for whatever reason there seems to be more areas of the world being affected by strange and devastating weather. When this happens it not only causes major damage to property but can also dramatically affect lives emotionally and physically too due to stress and anxiety.

Although these natural disasters cannot be predicted or prevented we can help to cushion ourselves from their effects by putting into place effective and reassuring plans and procedures.

Often we experience stress when something affects us out of the blue, when we are not ready and are ill prepared to cope with the change in circumstances. This is where having an emergency plan can help to reduce the effects of these unexpected stressors.

Plan to avoid environmental stressors

An emergency plan will enable you to cope much better during adverse conditions such as floods and fires. It will set out a clear plan of action which you have carefully thought out previously and that you know is the safest course of action. It will also ensure that you have emergency supplies to hand when you need them.

So what should your emergency plan consist of?

Every home should have its own “what to do if a fire breaks out” plan that all the family knows and understand. This is just basic common sense and will help to reassure everyone in the home, including children.

However for more major stressors such as hurricanes, bush fires etc a more comprehensive plan needs to be put into place. An emergency plan can consist of:

  • A supply of canned foods (don’t forget the tin opener)
  • A supply of candles and matches
  • Charged torches
  • Portable radio preferably windup (if not then a supply of batteries as well)
  • A lightweight metal container containing:
  • Important documents such as medical records
  • A small supply of money
  • A written list of telephone numbers in case your mobile phone dies on you.
  • Keep copies of your most important documents elsewhere, perhaps with another family member who lives elsewhere.
  • A small supply of toiletries (toothpaste, brushes etc)

These items need to be kept together so that they can easily and quickly be gathered up in times of emergency.

Also make sure all the family knows about the emergency plan and where to find these items. When stressors such as fires and flood descend on us and we are in a state of panic, we need to go on automatic pilot and this is where the plans come into action.

The stress relief you will get from having these simple plans in place is twofold. It gives peace of mind in advance of anything happening and it reduces the stress afterwards.

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