Residents of B.C.’s Interior are very familiar with what it looks like when natural disasters strike, leading to worries about what this season might bring.
While 73 per cent of those surveyed in B.C. were somewhat or very concerned they’ll be impacted by severe rains or flooding.
For both natural disasters, the portion of the population concerned in B.C. was higher than in any other part of Canada.
But experts say there are ways you can prepare emotionally for the unknowns of emergency season.
Councillor Jadon Ward said one way of tackling the uncertainty that causes anxiety is by looking for things you can control.
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“That’s going to lessen the anxiety.”
The second suggestion, as B.C. preps for fires or floods, is to take care of yourself.
“We are talking about just general behavioural basics or preventive factors: eating, sleeping, exercise,” said Ward.
Payson suggests doing those things that normally help you have less stress and anxiety.
“If it is feeling worse than just a little bit, if it’s impacting your ability to carry through your day or feel well,….ask your doctor for help,” said Payson.
She said in B.C. people can also call 310-6789 from anywhere in the province to access a distress line (no area code is required).
Another way to give yourself a mental lift if you are feeling anxious about emergencies is to help others.
Payson said that could look like talking to your neighbours or helping an elderly family member make their disaster preparedness preparations.
She said emergency planning together, staying connected, and building community can all help our mental health as we go into the season.
“We always need to remember it is normal to feel anxious, it is normal to feel stressed. Often we have a lot of ways to cope with that so use those ways, but if it’s not enough to make you feel better ask for help. You deserve to feel better,” Payson said.