Looking at the news all around the west, we see the fires raging. Many people have been displaced by the fires. Even a short stay out of the home for our friends, patients and clients is a tremendous issue. They become agitated, perhaps by not understanding and perhaps by fear; whatever the reason, our work is only going to become bigger by 10-fold. And it is not any easier for those in the southeast with the flooding.
Here are some thoughts we can use to help us out. Remember the Emergency Kit we packed last spring; this is a good time for it to be used, as we have all medicines and information in it, and it has the face masks to help us not breath in the smoke. Next and this is important, keep things as calm as possible. If we are going to a shelter, then we should share that we are going to see some friends. Try to keep our friend in a quiet area, believe me we are not the only ones in this same situation and the shelter guides will be happy to help keep everything calm around us. Next, we need to put on our thinking caps and come up with busy activities. No TV or informational meetings, these will only upset our friend and in turn this could upset the entire shelter. Next when situated in our shelter spot, look around for your support people. These are people who will help if you need a break or if there is another need to move.
Take frequent breaks if only to walk outside for 5 minutes. This will help us stay on top of the situation and thus help our friend. This will be a trial, but we have planned and can do this. Certainly we will be stressed and this will seep out in fatigue and frustration, we need to try very hard to keep our eye on the ball. This is not forever, a short amount of time in the overall scheme of things.
Once we are back home and settled in, call for an in-home Respite. This will mean that our friend stays in the home and we take a 3-5 day vacation. Take this time even if we think we don’t need it. We need to totally relax our body; this is good for every one of us. After the Respite refill the emergent kit that was used when we followed the evacuation orders.