When disaster happens we are naturally thrown into a state of fight, flight or freeze. These very helpful survival mechanisms are triggered to keep us alive, that is their sole, very refined purpose. What we tend to forget, however, is that these states are temporary. Unfortunately, these survival mechanisms are triggered even when we aren’t experiencing threat, but when we merely observe or perceive threat. If we are constantly watching the news coverage of a tragic event – like the fire in Fort McMurray, we signal a survival state, albeit an mild one. When this state persists, it is detrimental to our physical, emotional and mental well being.
My heart goes out to all who are connected to the devastation in Fort McMurray.
So what can we do that’s helpful, true and kind? (All things one should consider BEFORE offering anything) What can we do that releases us from our survival state and returns us to our much more helpful and effective rest and digest state?
Some very practical, helpful things we can do:
Don’t rely on ‘them’ to be responsible for your personal safety. Educate yourself. Know what to do in an emergency. https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/hzd/drng-en.aspx
How will you get out of your home in case of a fire? Where is your fire extinguisher?
What about a flood? https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/flds-wtd/index-en.aspx
We can stock up on contained water. Have your gas tank always full, have extra, fresh batteries on hand. Also a good idea; have a piece of luggage packed with essentials.
Offer Help and Support
Everything from donating money (much more helpful than physical goods at this time) to volunteering. You could join the Red Cross to assist with the organization or there are many special services organizations that may appreciate a trained volunteer. We can also support those organizations that are out front offering free goods and services to those directly affected. Subway, WestJet come to mind. Please comment below if you know other donating businesses that we can support.
Things we can do that support us spiritually and mentally:
Choose our Response.
For those of us a safe way away from this particular disaster, we can choose to be grateful. We are safe and far away from disaster.
Choose to be a source of calm and safety.
Criticism, Blame and throwing up our hands believing we are helpless victims is not helpful. It adds needless toxicity.
The hard truth is that disaster and or tragedy can strike no matter how prepared we think we are. That is unsettling.
Trust that your very specific, well-designed survival instinct will kick in precisely when and how you need it to in order for you to live.
After preparing as best you can, realize that a you are most likely to be resourceful and use clear thinking action when you feel secure. Again, choose to trust that you will respond and react appropriately when/if confronted. Until then, go about contributing to your well being and to the well being of those around you to the best of your ability.
If you have been affected by the Fort McMurray devastation or know some one who is and you or they need a listening ear, please call me and I will donate a session.