As Tropical Storm Fiona approaches us, we are encouraged to make the necessary physical and situational preparations, such as:
● Securing our homes
● Preparing our emergency kits
● Identification of the nearest shelter if necessary
● Securing our pets
The fact is that preparing for an impending storm can be distressing for most of us. Approaching storms can create a lot of uncertainty about safety, work, and family members.
Distress is a normal part of life, and there are some things that persons can do that can help them manage their distress levels during the passage of a storm:
● Stay connected with family and friends. Being in contact with loved ones can be a source of support. Staying with family and friends during the storm's passage can also be a source of support for people.
● Getting factual information about the storm from reputable sources such as the St. Maarten Meteorological Department and the Government of St. Maarten helps to ease our fears and anxieties.
● Utilizing one’s faith. Staying connected to a spiritual source through prayer and meditation are also ways in which people find the strength that can take them through challenging times.
● Reflecting on and sharing stories of resilience. Adults can use this time to share positive hurricane stories with children about coping strategies that persons living in the hurricane belt have used over the years to get them through these difficult times.
● Remain hopeful! We know that, as a people, we have been through many storms in our lives. And yet we have managed to bounce back. A local phrase we often use within our community is "this too shall pass”.