How to Maintain Emotional Health in an Emergency

Written by The Ready Store

One of the most important aspects of emergency preparations is plans for your emotional health! Disasters and emergencies can have a large impact on your stress levels. This is especially true if you’ve experienced a disaster previously.

Here are some tips on how to take care of your emotional health during a disaster or emergency.

What you feel during a disaster

You may feel a wide variety of emotions during a stressful event. Try to remember in the moment, that these emotions are temporary. Try to be patient with yourself and your emotions and be helpful towards your family and neighbors.

These are all common responses in an emergency situation:

  • Feeling physically weak and mentally tired. Many times, people feel tired, sad, numb, lonely or worried.
  • Difficulty making decisions or focusing
  • Frequently becoming frustrated. Also feeling frustrated more quickly.
  • Experiencing changes in appetite or sleep patterns.

Maintain emotional health in an emergency

How to get your emotional health back on track

One of the best things you can do to get back on track is to establish a routine. The emergency will have disrupted your daily routine and getting back into that will help you emotionally. Remember that this might take some time.

Basic necessities. Try to find a place to evaluate your situations. Find a safe location to assess your physical needs.

Eat healthy. During times of high stress, you’ll want to make sure that you are eating well. You’ll feel better than if you eat junk food. That is why it’s so important to have a healthy balance to your food storage supply. Read our previous post on steps to choosing a food storage kit.

Adequate rest. Be sure to get enough sleep and rest for your needs. This might be hard when your routine has changed so rapidly. However, rest will help you overcome your stress.

Be patient and loving. While many people are feeling frustrated, they can get moody. Be sure to be patient with others and yourself. However, this doesn’t mean that you can just go off by yourself. Staying connected, talking, with others can help you cope and feel support. Feeling others care and love is an important part of emotional health.

Make plans. During an emergency, you’ll find difficulty staying focused. For this reason, it’s important to gather information and set priorities on what you need to do. Have something to write down your list so that you can remember what you need to do. It’s also helpful to keep your family and friends involved with your plans so they can remind you what you need to do.

Maintain emotional health in an emergency The Ready Store

If depression continues

Most people will feel better after a few days. However, there are some that can’t seem to overcome their emotional stress. If you find yourself or others experiencing these symptoms, two weeks or more after an event, consider reaching out for additional help.

  • Bursts of anger
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Headaches and stomachaches
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, helplessness or hopelessness
  • Avoiding the presence of loved ones

Your recommendations

What do you think? What plans have you made to take care of your emotional health during a disaster? We’d love to hear from you. Please share your tips below!

Updated April 25, 2012

6 Comments

  1. Dani wrote:

    Pray!

    April 26th, 2012 at 4:27 am
  2. Lee wrote:

    Uplifting books

    April 26th, 2012 at 7:29 am
  3. Beth wrote:

    Thanks to Ready Nation eating healthy will not be a problem. I am currently fixing a cash of things to do when the eletricity is out-crosswords puzzles, sudoko, games like scrabble, or a pack of cards for solitaire if you are (or want) to be alone. I’ve even included some art supplies-paper, coloring books, pencils, and crayons. Jigsaw puzzles come in multiple levels are another suggestion. Lee is correct books are great.

    April 26th, 2012 at 7:38 am
  4. Don Rabchenia wrote:

    Revert back to nature. Try to make a fire with two pieces of wood. Make a fresh water still for drinkable water. Make traps for getting food. If you are in place, start a garden. Look for natural medicenal plants, mushrooms, other edibles that can help in a long term situation where you may have to count on your own abilities to provide for yourself and or others.Look at the long term effects of more than a natural didaster. It may just come to that. Be prepared ahead of time. Gather now, until waiting for disaster. Don’t forget prescriptions, and other necessary items if you have sick, elderly or young with special needs. The list can go on and on. Take time to think. Your brain is you most valuable asset. Use it.Don’t forget weapons. What you do have may be wanted by others. There are no best friends when their children are starving or thirsty.

    August 6th, 2012 at 2:12 pm
  5. Abby wrote:

    Knowing that I have food stored gives me a sense of control, that I won’t go hungry. I have prepared. There are books to help teach us to be prepared.
    My father taught me to not be a victim !!
    Empower Yourself !!

    August 10th, 2013 at 10:23 pm
  6. Jennifer wrote:

    I was in Hurricane Katrina and felt much of what was described above. The guilt and feeling of helplessness was crippling. I was able to get through it by focusing on the future and doing little things within my power to make the situation better for myself and the friends who went through it for me.
    It’s true, there are no best friends in a disaster. It’s quickly back to survival of the fittest…don’t delude yourselves. I saw it overnight.

    March 8th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

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