When a major storm lies ahead, it helps to have your body, mind and spirit ready and resilient. Here are some ways you and your family can prepare for the bad weather that’s coming — and come through it feeling whole.
Prepare Your Body Before the Storm
Having a healthy lifestyle that consists of a balanced diet, regular exercise and sound rest is your first defense against threatening storms. Knowing you’re able to care for your physical needs, as well as your family’s, will help you deal with the uncertainties bad weather brings. There are other steps you can take to help keep you and your family safe and well.
Make a Safe Room
Make sure at least one room in your home has flashlights, blankets, towels, trash bags, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods — including pet food — and any other items that will sustain you during the storm and after it.
Make a Home Safety Kit
The Department of Homeland Security advises having an emergency kit stocked with inexpensive, easy-to-find items. Along with the basics, attend to the unique needs your family members may have, whether they’re seniors or loved ones of the four-legged variety. Here are some items to include in your kit.
Make Sure Medicines Are Safely Stored
If you or family members take medicines, be sure you know how they should be stored, especially if there’s a chance the power may go out for a few days. For example, put medicines — such as insulin and certain antibiotics — in sandwich bags. Then place them on ice in a cooler so they’ll remain cold without getting wet from melting ice.
Prepare Your Mind Before the Storm
The near-constant stream of news about the storm’s arrival can cause feelings of stress, anxiety and fear. Recognizing these common reactions and taking steps to prepare for the storm will be helpful in safeguarding your emotional well-being. Have a plan for what coping strategies you can employ for both you and any children in your family.
Know What You’re Facing
Find a trusted source, such as the National Weather Service or a local health agency, and gather information that will help ease your mind about what’s ahead. Knowledge is power — and knowing the facts instead of focusing on the unknowns can strengthen your mind and calm heightened emotions.
Let Others Know How You’re Feeling
Making connections is important as you prepare for a storm’s arrival. Talk about your concerns with family members or friends who can give you emotional support. Staying in touch with loved ones is not only comforting to you but allows you to be a source of comfort and strength to others — which can contribute to your own peace of mind.
Create Healthy Distractions
Sure, smartphones can be a diversion, but constantly scrolling through social media isn’t the healthiest way to calm your mind. Plus, you might want to conserve your phone’s battery life for after the storm. Have a “rainy day kit” ready to go so you have welcomed distractions like board games, books and cards.
Restore Your Spirit Before the Storm
Knowing a bad storm is a time to lean on your faith. Remember that God has seen you through difficult times in the past. You can cast your cares on Him during the storm, knowing that He cares for you.
Prepare with Prayer
As you’re facing bad weather ahead, tell God your concerns and needs, ask Him for guidance and thank Him for His protection — not just during storms but at every moment of every day. Ask friends and family members to join you in prayer so they can feel comforted, too.
Read Words of Comfort
Many verses in the Bible offer comfort about God’s control of all things, His protective presence and His great love for you. Look for special verses that speak to you about the coming storm. Write them down and read them to yourself before bad weather hits. Expect a sense of peace in your spirit that God’s Word can so often bring.
Your belief in God’s power can help you maintain a sense of hope even through trying times. With faith, you’re able to stay strong in the belief of a positive outcome — and it’s not just wishful thinking. After all, hopefulness can’t share space with worry.
Feeling Whole Before the Storm
When you feel whole in body, mind and spirit you’re better prepared for bad weather. When you’re living your best life — a life of wholeness — you can feel more empowered to weather the storm with resiliency, confidence and grace.
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