Be prepared, be safe, reduce stress

  • Published
  • By Col. Thomas Jackson
  • 62nd Maintenance Group commander
Last week's winter storm highlighted two things that we can't have enough of: patience and preparedness.

Few of us were prepared for the type of storm we experienced. We can't be prepared for everything that may occur when it comes to storms that hit the Pacific Northwest, but there are steps we can all take to help increase our preparedness.

Preparing for nature's surprises can range from simple things like making sure your cell phone is fully charged as much as possible to more serious matters such as having a back-up generator, extra fuel for that generator, a fully fueled vehicle, at least a week's worth of non-perishable food and water, and an adequate supply of any required medications.

Also consider whether there might be a need for any special items for any of your family members such as diapers or formula in case you can't get to a store. The better prepared we are for the unknowns in life, the less stressful these events will be for us.

In being prepared, you will find that you have less stress and that enables all of us to have more patience and understanding with others. These qualities can be of great benefit to everyone around us when life's stressors hit us as suddenly as they did this week.

For example, when you don't need to worry about where your next meal is coming from because the pantry is stocked, it's easier to deal with a child who wants to hurry up and get outside to play or doesn't understand why there's no heat in the house. It's also easier to deal with the stress of extra tasks at work if you know your family has food and enough fuel to stay warm.

Every location where you may be stationed has its own weather related idiosyncrasies, but learning about what do expect and how to prepare yourself and your family will go a long way toward ensuring these are just bumps in the road now that will turn in to great family stories in the future.

So be prepared, be safe and reduce your stress.