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Disaster Preparedness

During this time of year in California the possibility of wildfires is in the forefront of people’s minds. Many may feel anxious as they watch wildfires in other parts of the state and worry about a potential of a natural disaster in our own community. These concerns may be coupled with reminders of past experiences related to wildfires or other emergencies that can be very triggering.

While thinking about a potential emergency can breed anxiety and potentially feelings of helplessness, it is important to focus on the elements that you can exert control over.  Focusing your attention on emergency preparedness is an action you can direct. While it may initially cause some worry to think about potential disasters, your overall anxiety will likely decrease, if you feel you are becoming better prepared for an emergency.

Emergency preparedness includes organizing or checking an emergency kit, developing an emergency evacuation plan, stocking the home with items that can be used in an emergency, and clarifying how the needs of babies, the elderly, those with special needs, or pets will be impacted by an emergency or planned electrical outage. In addition, preparedness means acquainting yourself with the local and state resources needed to gather information about a fire, earthquake, flood, or planned electrical outage on an ongoing basis. 

A list of resources related to emergency preparedness can be found here. This list will help jumpstart your planning or can be used to supplement a plan you have already developed. The link contains specific resources related to the impact of emergencies on special populations, such as children.

In addition to utilizing resources aimed at preparation and response to an emergency, you can consider working with a psychologist that is a member of the Santa Barbara County Psychological Association to obtain additional support. The Find a Psychologist feature on the sbcpa.org website allows you to search for psychologists that meet certain criteria that you select, such as areas of focus, location, and insurance panel participation. This feature can be accessed here.

We  invite you to search for a Psychologist on our Search Engine, which gives you access to our more than 120 Licensed Psychologist Members.

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