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How to Practice Emergency Preparedness as Self-Care

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The preparation is personal, and exists on a broad spectrum. For some people, it’s tied to one season – hurricane season in the South or fire season in the West. In some communities, you have people boarding the windows days before a storm hits the ground while others ignore evacuation notices, thinking they can just sit in the laundry room with a box of donuts, a torch, and a bonnet. book.

Luckily there is a middle ground.

“It’s an investment in itself to be prepared,” he says Katie Belfi, who was a lawyer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during Hurricane Sandy. After Sandy, NYU Langone recruited Belfi to rebuild the hospital’s emergency preparedness / emergency response program. But her interest in emergency planning began years earlier, when a 3-year-old girl harassed her mother to buy escape stairs to the family’s rooms.

“Preparation has always been transmitted through a fear filter,” Belfi says. “And take a tone of‘ You have to do this or that ’” One of his goals is to make people see resilience through a lens of attention, changing the narrative from something that they must do to something you do do.

Instead of talking emergency preparedness in terms of numbers of MRE meals, bottled water cases, or solar panels, Belfi embodies emergency preparedness in the context of things like gratitude and rest, things we already associate with self-care. “We have morning routines, exercises and skin care routines,” said Danielle Roberts, emergency physician in Norwalk, Connecticut. “Why don’t we have a preparation routine?”

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Roberts is the medical director for The Ready Collective, which twins Jesse Levin and Sefra Alexandra have founded out of a concern for a society that remains reactionary, unprepared and vulnerable because of a disunited relationship with promptness. “When we work to acquire the skills and mindset that make us‘ ready ’, fear, a sense of vulnerability and the divisiveness typically experienced in emergencies are replaced with calm and a desire, ability and desire to help others,” he said. says Levin. It’s hard to know where to start with personal preparation, but the best time to do it is now.

Where do we start?

After someone has experienced something traumatic, whether it’s a wildfire or a global pandemic, they find themselves in the best possible place to keep things objective when the experience is fresh in their mind. It’s overwhelming, and so many people want to throw off their masks, forget about Texas ’power crisis, and ignore hurricane and fire forecasts. Despite the strong urge to push the past aside and move forward, Belfi says, “this is the most important moment to sit down – whether with yourself, your family, or with a larger group in your community – and reflect on what worked and what didn’t. From this information, you’ll have an amazing plan for building your plan. “

After reflecting on what worked well and where your family needed to improve, you can recharge, resupply, replace, and repair supplies and tools. The next step is a bit challenging because that’s where you dig deeper, hone some skills, and modify your plan.

Belfi offers a guide on their website to help get you started, with Bringing Resilience into Home, a free, printable ebook which lists the essential questions to ask yourself while drafting your preparation plan. It is critical to know how much food and water your family needs. A meat-filled freezer isn’t the best source of stable food, but it’s something. Twenty pound bags of rice, beans and lentils are best. The catch is to count on the takeout, which many people learned the hard way when everything was shut down at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.


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