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When we think about preparedness, we often consider the physical and practical steps we need to take to prepare our families and homes. However, being psychologically prepared for an emergency situation is just as important as being physically prepared.
It can help you feel more in control and confident in dealing with an emergency, and help you to think more clearly while under severe stress.
There is a reason we encourage people to write down and practice their bushfire survival plans. It is because our brains can become overwhelmed when they become faced with stressful situations.
The adrenaline hormone which helps us survive can also shut off the parts of our brain linked to problem solving.
Being psychologically prepared also includes having realistic expectations. An emergency situation (such as a fast moving bushfire) can very quickly become unmanageable and unpredictable.
So how do we prepare our minds for a emergencies?
There are three main steps we can take:
ANTICIPATE how you may react
You need to be able to draw on your own strengths, survival resources and your ability to cope. It's important not to let your feelings and thoughts of fear get in the way of careful and well planned actions.
Remind yourself that this is an emergency situation and that it's natural to feel anxious and stressed. You cannot directly control what's happening but you can manage your responses in this emergency and influence the impact on you and your family.
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