In addition to preparing your home and family for storm season, it’s a good idea to prepare mentally and emotionally. Psychological preparedness can help you think logically during/after disasters and help keep you physically safe while weathering the emotional storm.
Take Steps to Regulate Physical and Emotional Health
- Maintain overall wellness throughout the season with healthy eating, rest and relaxation, exercise, working with a mental health professional, hobbies you enjoy, any other tools that help you stay well. See our Daily Mental Health Hygiene Hacks.
Focus on Preparedness
- For many, preparing in advance is a great comfort. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to feel overwhelmed or anxious when a storm approaches. Focus on what you can control and Make a Hurricane Game Plan ahead of time.
Limit News Consumption
- Radio and news outlets’ 24/7 storm coverage can be stressful. Keep track of what’s going on, but limit consumption until a storm is near and more frequent updates are necessary.
Manage Stress With Calming Activities
- Stress is to be expected. Notice your body & moods – tension, short temper, inability to focus, difficulty sleeping, etc. are all signs of stress. Be mindful and practice your favorite stress-relieving activities if/ when you can:
- Go for a walk, deep breathing, hobbies (knitting, puzzles, yoga), journaling, meditate, listen to calming music, etc.
Seek Support if You are Struggling
- If disaster-related stress wears you down, it’s perfectly normal & OK to ask for help. Here are some helpful resources:
- MHSD 24/7 Crisis Line (504) 826-2675 (Orleans Parish)
- The Keep Calm Hotline, 1-866-310-7977, will connect you to trained, compassionate counselors who can offer support and who can direct you to mental health and substance abuse counseling services.
- The Behavioral Health Recovery Outreach Line, 1-833-333-1132, offers 24/7/365 support for healthcare professionals and recovery support for those with substance use, mental health, mental illness, or co-occurring disorders. Qualified support providers will connect you to trained specialists and clinicians in multiple languages.
- The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for those in emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.
- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK.
- Talk to your primary care provider about your options. If you are an NOMC patient, reach out through the Patient Portal.
Review our other Hurricane Preparedness resource links below and when stormy weather comes, you‘ll be ready. You Got This!