Managing stress and anxiety around a natural disaster

1. Be prepared.

Your feelings of anxiety may be an indication that you need to prepare yourself and your family in the case of an emergency. Examples are: Have a plan as to where to meet in case of separation, a predetermined location to evacuate to if you decide to leave, and keep over a half tank of gas in your car. The CDC recommends at minimum to have a first aid kid and three days supply of food and water available. More information on preparation: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies.html

2. Focus on the facts.
This will help you determine your risk factors and what reasonable actions you can take. Obtain your earthquake fact and information from reliable, peer reviewed sources such as U.S. Geological Survey (USGS.org) or the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN.org).

3. Making connections with family members and friends for emotional support.

4. Keep self care a priority. Keep a proper diet, drink water, rest, and exercise.

5. Keeping busy and being helpful to others is also a great coping skill. Donating blood, volunteering, assisting in cleanup projects in your community.

6. Seek professional help: counseling resources currently available at the Kerr McGee Center, check with your employer about their employee assistance program, call Rural Health to speak to a licensed clinical social worker (760-499-3855). We also have a mental health brochure with listings of local providers. To view a mental health brochure click here.
Article provided by Amanda Lockie, Medical Social Worker at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital