Hurricane Irene : How to Prepare for the Storm and Lessen Anxiety

Merely Me Health Guide
  • As I write this post it is Thursday evening, August 25th 2011. If you have been listening to the news at all you will know that Hurricane Irene is making its way towards the East Coast and is predicted to hit the Carolinas up through the New England region beginning Saturday. According to the The Weather Channel Hurricane Irene has been upgraded to extreme. They predict possible flooding storm surges, wind damage, and torrential rain possibly resulting in power outages and devastation. Evacuations have already taken place for tourists on Ocracoke Island early Wednesday morning. The Navy has also taken preventive measures to have 27 ships leave Norfolk and other Virginia ports today. This morning North Carolina Governor Purdue has issued a state of emergency for all counties east of I-95. The weather experts are warning that Hurricane Irene may end up being a Category-4 storm.  They are warning residents of North Carolina and even cities such as Philadelphia, Boston, and New York to take this storm very seriously. Millions of people on the entire east coast may be affected.

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    If you are like me, and suffer from anxiety, such severe weather warnings are probably heightening your worry and fears. In such a situation it is important to get the facts as you know them and to heed the advice given about how to prepare for such a potential emergency. Taking action through activities of disaster preparation will reduce your anxiety and make you feel more in control.


    Here are some important links and information to help you get ready for Hurricane Irene:


    Hurricane Irene Path Map (Huffington Post)

    Hurricane Central (The Weather Channel)


    Hurricane Tracker and Updates (ABC 11 News)


    FEMA disaster preparedness page


    American Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist


    Here are some general tips on how to prepare for a hurricane:


    • If you live in low flood prone areas seek higher ground.


    • Fill up your gas tanks and get out cash as gas pumps and ATM’s may not work during a disaster.


    • If evacuation is a possibility, have a bag packed with essentials, ID, and insurance information.


    • Stock up on non-perishable foods and water for at least five days. You will need a gallon of water for each person per day.


    • Make sure you have a first-aid kit ready.


    • You will need batteries, flashlights, and a portable radio for listening to the news.


    • Make sure that you have your prescriptions filled and medications ready.


    • If you have an infant make sure to stock up on formula and diapers.


    • Make sure to include your pets in your preparations. Stock up on pet food and supplies. The ASPCA has a thorough information page on how to make an emergency plans for your pets.


    • Prepare a disaster plan on how to locate and communicate with family members.


    • Make sure that any outside objects such as garbage cans, garden implements, lawn furniture, and patio umbrellas, are brought inside so that they will not cause damage by being propelled by the wind into windows.


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    • There may be phone outages. AT&T offers these tips about the use of your cell phone during a disaster.


    Please be safe. If you are asked to evacuate please do so. Listen to the news and heed the suggestions given for your area.



    Here are some additional Health Central articles which may help:


    Anxiety and Natural Disasters


    Reducing Anxiety in the Aftermath of Hurricanes, Floods, and Other Disasters 


    Dealing with Stress and Anxiety After Natural Disaster (Member Question and Expert Answer)


    Disaster Preparation: What if You Must Evacuate Your Elder? 


    10 Tips to Help Asthmatics Prepare for Natural Disaster 


    Coping with Natural Disasters and Diabetes


    Diabetes Disaster Plan


    How to Prepare Yourself for an Emergency Situation 


    Addition:  How to Prepare for Disaster or Emergency for Patients with Chronic Pain

Published On: August 25, 2011