You Need More Than a Kit to be Ready for a Hurricane
Having a hurricane preparedness kit and plan, especially when living in an active hurricane region, is an extremely important part of being prepared for this devastating natural disaster. However, having a kit alone will not prepare you for the physical, financial, and psychological damage hurricanes can bring.
Places like New Orleans and St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana are common sites for hurricanes, and recognize that the damage wreaked is not only physical. The Parishes started training their parishioners in physical preparedness, but also mental preparedness with local meetings run by Homeland Security and Emergncy Preparedness representatives, the local Resource Centers, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Physical preparedness (a plan and a kit) will lessen some of the burdens surrounding hurricanes. Practicing your plan and training family and friends on how to prepare can alleviate further uncertainty and increase overall preparedness dramatically. It can also save lives!
Other easy steps to better prepare for a disaster include:
- A plan and preparedness kit, including water, non-perishable foods, and an evacuation plan if necessary. Ready and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have detailed, step-by-step guidance for hurricane preparation and survival on their sites
- Making copies of important photographs and documents (birth certificates, social security cards, marriage license etc.) and making sure you have backups online—to relieve the headache and heartache caused by damaged or lost keepsakes and documents
- Practicing the plan not only before hurricane season, but also when hurricane season begins, to put you, your family, and friends in the preparedness mentality
- The more you practice, the more it will come naturally when the hurricane comes
- Acceptance and Respect: Do not underestimate the storm, but do not lose control
- Find something small or easy to keep you relaxed during and after a storm like yoga, meditation, or chocolate—something to rely on as the panic begins that does not require a lot of space
- However, if a small fix isn’t enough, here are a few resources to help cope with the distress
- Actively choose to remain calm. This may sound silly, but if you follow and trust the plan you and your family have prepared, remember that material objects can be replaced, and keep a positive attitude, the recovery will be easier to manage
Some of these steps may seem small and unimportant. The combination of mental and physical preparation is a powerful way to be ready to survive a hurricane and its aftermath.