In the Hurricane Simulation exercise that follows, you will have an opportunity to apply the skills and the attitudes of resilience and the information that you have been provided with regarding preparing yourself and your family to deal with a disaster. You will have an opportunity to use your readiness kit and exercise the plan that you have developed.
You will view three television newscasts that will describe a hurricane as it approaches Maine, as it strikes the coast, and the after-math of the hurricane. You will be asked some questions after each newscast and will see suggestions from members of the Scarborough Preparedness Project.
- In the time that you have before the hurricane arrives, what will you do?
- What problems do you need to solve in the next few hours?
- Who will you be communicating with?
- What feelings will come up and how will you deal with them?
Comments: Avoid catastrophic thinking. Calm yourself down. Practice what you have learned about self-regulation. Refer to your plan and begin carrying it out. Make sure what your communication to others is clear and specific. Stay flexible. Keep your priorities straight. What is most important to do in the next few hours?
- If you have evacuated the area, you are with other people who are probably just as frightened and scared as you are. How will you deal with this?
- How will you pass the next few hours or days as you wait?
- How will you control the feelings that are coming up inside and the very human tendency to think the worst?
- If you have sheltered in place, it is just you and your family for the next few hours and maybe for the next few days. How will you deal with the time you now have to wait until the storm passes? How will you entertain and comfort the other members of your family or the friends you are with?
- How will you deal with the problems that you may confront, e.g., a blown-out window, a leaking roof, no power, perhaps no phone service?
Comments: This is a good opportunity to be optimistic. The hurricane will pass. There will be specific damage and problems, but not everything will change. There is no one to blame. Continue to avoid catastrophic thinking. Think about solutions to the problems that you are facing. Use the Solutions Chart. Talk with the others you are with. Connect with people. Continue to use the self-regulation exercises that you have learned to keep yourself calm and to keep your thinking clear and focused. Rely on your faith and yourself and others. Practice your beliefs. If this involves prayer, pray. Take care of yourself. Eat. Drink fluids. Take care of others.
- If you’re sheltered in place, you will know relatively soon what damage has been done to you, your family and your community. How will you deal with getting over this traumatic event?
- What will be your plan?
- Who will you communicate with?
- How will you explain what has happened to you, your family and your community?
- What feelings do you think will come up for you in the aftermath of this disaster? How will you deal with them?
Comments: Practice gratitude for what is left. Flexibility and confidence in yourself will serve you well in the aftermath of a disaster. Continue to avoid catastrophic thinking and continue to practice optimism. This too will pass. Practice your faith. Whether that is in yourself or in your family and others or in a power greater than yourself. Keep a focus on the purpose of rebuilding and going forward. Use humor when appropriate. Talk. Tell your story, “What I did during the great storm of 2012.” Continue to take care of yourself and others.
Please download and make a hard copy of this information for your Ready-Kit.
Other Hurricane Resources:
American Psychological Association
Tips to strengthen your emotional well-being before the arrival of a hurricane
American Red Cross
Steps you Can Take to Prepare
Hurricane Preparedness from Ready.gov (PDF 27KB, TXT 6KB)
The Disaster Declaration Process (PDF 278KB, TXT 6KB)
Hurricane Season and Flooding (PDF 278KB, TXT 4KB)
Inland Flooding (PDF 30KB, TXT 4KB)
Preparing for Your Pets (PDF 30KB, TXT 7KB)
Use of Social Media Tools (PDF 106KB, TXT 12KB)