Emergencies can cause emotional and physical reactions. Most people caught in an emergency situation usually feel confused and may not act like themselves for awhile. They may tremble or feel numb. It is common to feel bewildered, shocked, and relieved to be alive. It's important for people dealing with an emergency to take good care of themselves and their families.
Following are tips to New Brunswick families dealing with an emergency:
- Rest often and eat well.
- Keep a manageable schedule. Make a list and do one job at a time. Decide what needs to be done right away and defer the rest until a less stressful time.
- Get as much physical activity as possible.
- Ask for and accept help from others.
- Think about the coping skills used at other difficult times, and use them now.
- Focus on positive memories.
It’s important to be aware of children’s reactions. They might start thumb-sucking or bed-wetting, become clingy or fearful. Children might withdraw and try to be brave, when they really need reassurance. To get the family back on track, talk about what’s happened. Here are some suggestions:
- Encourage children to express themselves. They may want to do this by drawing or playing instead of talking.
- Take their fears seriously, reassure them and give them additional attention.
- Talk to them about what has happened. Be honest but gentle.
- Give them a real task to do in helping the family.
- Watch for health problems and signs of stress, such as nightmares and depression, in you and all members of the family. Seek help if needed.
- Continue with regular routines (teeth brushing, bed time stories) and chores (picking out their own clothes to wear, etc.).
- Avoid or minimize watching news reports of frightening events.