Mental health check put forward in 2016 WA gun law inquiry !!!

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NOTICE: Pay attention people! This is subject to interpretation and misuse! Do you have any idea how many people in Australia are being treated for “Depression”???!!! This is NOT good. This could be the government’s big foot in the door for more gun confiscation.
Is your doctor anti-gun???

‘Gun laws slipping’: WA massacre puts spotlight on Aust gun control

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We NEED to stop talking about more firearms restrictions and start talking about WHY people are getting killed!!! I don’t give a rat’s arse what they are killed with, car, knife, hammer, gun, they are dead! Why aren’t concerned groups & people asking “why are people killing?” AND “What can be done to stop the killing?” Are they all brain dead???!!!

The family at the Margaret River property that got shot needed help, but they did not get that help, & IF what the police are saying is true, that the shooter was the Grandfather, then it is pretty obvious that they did need help!

 Three guns found at the Margaret River property shootings, I have more than three guns & I haven’t killed anyone! Hell, I am not legally allowed to use my guns to defend the lives of my family or to save my own life! What is a matter with people, & it is people, not just the government. People who call for disarmament! Don’t they understand that criminals do NOT obey the laws???!!! They can confiscate the guns totally from all the law abiding licenced gun owners in Australia, & the criminals will still have guns, people will still be killed. When they realise this will they give our guns back to us? Hell no! What is done is done!
I am finding it really hard to understand why the majority of Australians are so bloody stupid & ignorant. This is a societal problem, not a gun problem, & so long as allow this corrupt to the core government to RULE Australia, then our society’s problems with crime, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, high taxes, high rates, low wages, inappropriate council fees, environmental pollution, Big government & corporatism & the loss of our human rights will continue! This government in total is the cause of all our problems, & yet the majority of Australians either can’t see that or just refuse to do anything about that!
So every day we will continue to read about crime, read about killings, rapes, muggings, kidnappings, violent attacks, robberies with violence knowing that all this could be significantly reduced by implementing a new government system & yet knowing it will never happen. No wonder there is so much depression & suicides. I am now lost for words.

Mental Health When the Med’s Run Out

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Mental Health When the Med’s Run Out!
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper REWIND” Audio player below!

Could you manage depression, anxiety, ADHD, or bi-polar disorder after a disaster?

You probably know someone close to you with one of the conditions listed above, because a significant percentage of Americans are on anti-psychotic prescriptions. These drugs are linked to dangerous side effects, like thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, and violent behavior.

Listen to this broadcast or download “Mental Health When the Med’s Run Out” in player below!

Continue reading Mental Health When the Med’s Run Out at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Australians No Longer Care About Other Australians. Brainwashed by the Australian government?

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Homeless people are people with no permanent home, they sleep in cars, family garages, in doss houses or perhaps a family member’s home.

People living rough live on park benches under bridges, anywhere they can find where they hope they will be safe.

The Australian government DOES NOT CARE about these people, & the majority of Australian citizens do not care about these people. Just think about that, is this what we have become as a nation, as a people? Do we have no honour at all? No caring attitude towards fellow Australians in need?

We have the power to put things right, it is quite obvious that the government is not governing Australia properly, it is quite obvious that the care & welfare of the Australian people is not their priority. Oh you may be fine, you may have a good job & a nice home so why should you care about other Australians who have nothing?! What does this say about you as a person who is not willing to say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

The ABS Census data released yesterday reveals a 37% increase in homelessness. In 2011 the number of people experiencing homelessness in NSW was 28,191. In 2016 this has jumped to 37,715.

The number of people in overcrowded dwellings in NSW has increased by 74% since the last census.

The number of homeless women has increased across all age ranges with the largest increase in women aged between 25-34 years (55% increase since 2011) and 65-74 years (78% since 2011).

Further information can be found on the ABS website

NSW Snap shot:

37,715 people were experiencing homelessness on the night of the 2016 Census (an increase of 37%)

The number of homeless women has increased across all age ranges with the largest increase in women aged between 25-34 years (55% increase since 2011) and 65-74 years (78% since 2011).

2,588 were sleeping rough (an increase of 35% since 2011)

16,821 were living in overcrowded conditions

The rate of homelessness for young people aged 19-24 increased by 92% since 2006 and is twice that of the general population

The rate of older people experiencing homelessness has increased by 24%

74,000 clients were supported by homelessness services in 2016/17 (43% increase since 2013/14)

2 in 5 clients did not receive crisis or other accommodation despite requesting it in 2016/17

2 in 3 clients who were homeless prior to accessing a service had no long term accommodation at the end of support in 2016/17.


Shedding The Mental Struggle Of Hive-Living

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By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

One tidbit of wisdom which all interested in outdoor living understand – living in the hive can be bad for your health. The biggest cities often draw the zaniest and most odd characters. It’s not hard to understand why. Large cities, particularly the mega-cities which are fairly recent developments, seem to foster a sense of mental displacements. The environment is very artificial, so it’s not hard to see why. Sometimes, withdrawing from all of that difficulty is something you absolutely need, as a fundamental aspect of healing your soul.

We’re not trying to disparage the good work done in cities, or the great people who live in them. However, we are critical of those who feel that inner city living is perfectly fine and naturally in a long-term perspective. Nothing will ever be as healing for our human spirit and psyche than a long sting in the forest or wood. Recalibrating to the natural creative power from which you come can heal even the most chaotic of hearts.

If you find yourself struggling, or simply need a break which works for you, you might consider a long hike or camping stint in the woods. We have detailed the benefits of doing so below. Sometimes, survival preparation is as important as restoring your own mind to the natural pace of life.

No Mirrors

Mirrors are great inventions. They help us manage our appearance, staying attractive to those we hope to attract. They let us know if we have any misplaced food on our lip, or if we mishandled our shaving process in the morning, leaving half our moustache intact. However, it can become an almost obsession to keep looking in the mirror throughout the day, rectifying your appearance as you see a flaw.

This leads to a constant state of tension and worry. If you head to the woods and neglect bringing any mirrors with you, you’ll notice something wonderful. Not only do you forget about your appearance, but you become more connected to yourself and your present experience. You become more able to show your real personality, as opposed to one you’re carefully curating throughout the day. This can be revolutionary for mental health, as peace of mind is improved when you’re neglecting to focus on your flaws.

Good Survival Practice

You might be a newcomer to this blog. If you understand the benefits of preparing or having a modicum of survival knowledge, you’re in the right place. However, you can’t expect to jump in the deep end, surviving in the Amazon for months at a time. It’s good to start slow. If you’ve lived in a city for the majority of your life, some concepts might be completely new to you. Connecting with your raw human ability to survive surely helps you connect with the inner knowledge of our species.

You’ll feel a primal sense of achievement after building a shelter, or starting a fire for the first time. This time will also serve as a great opportunity to build a bug out bag. This rugged approach to task achievement feels much more satisfying than working with accounts all day, or facing a customer service role. It’s likely that the experience of the outdoors will give you a desire to work in the forest more and more, and get out of the hive as often as you can.

Living away from the hive for a time can give you a real revolution in your internal thinking, and improve your mental matters to no end. You’ll never know if you don’t try.

The post Shedding The Mental Struggle Of Hive-Living appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

Prepper’s Guide to Mental Health and Emotional Preparedness

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Prepper’s Guide to Mental Health and Emotional Preparedness The taxing of emotional stress is almost always underestimated in the prepping world. Unless you have been through something terrible in this regard you have no idea what effect the mental and emotional aspects of a collapse will have on you. It will literally tire you out! …

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The post Prepper’s Guide to Mental Health and Emotional Preparedness appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

How to Deal with Cabin Fever When Bugging In

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The term ‘bug out’ apparently gained popularity during World War 2, the term being inspired by cartoons of bugs scattering underfoot when discovered. As for bugging in, that refers to doing the opposite: staying put. It’s something you might have to do if there’s a natural disaster like a blizzard, tornado, heavy rain or snow. […]

The post How to Deal with Cabin Fever When Bugging In appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Survival Psychology: How to Never Surrender

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Canadian Prepper is probably the best survival-related channel on Youtube. He’s made hundreds of high-quality videos on a variety of topics. This particular video is on a topic that isn’t discussed often enough: survival psychology. People in the first world live such easy, cushy lives compared to everyone else. Yes, even those of you who […]

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7-Year-Old Boy Makes Twisted Joke At School … So CPS Seizes Him

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7-Year-Old Boy Makes Twisted Joke At School … So CPS Seizes Him

Image source: Health Impact News/family

Eight police officers surrounded a couple’s home and took their seven-year-old son away because of a disagreement with school officials over ADHD and mental health, the parents say.

Christian and Katie Maple lost custody of seven-year-old Camden because they disagreed with school officials’ assessment of the boys’ mental health, they told Health Impact News. He attends Bowman Primary School in Lebanon, Ohio.

They describe him as a normal American boy: He has five siblings and enjoys Star Wars, Pokemon, football and Legos. He even has tested a grade above his current grade, the website reported.

“The school thinks he is ADHD, we as parents disagree,” the couple told Health Impact News. “We believe that it stems mostly from boredom and not being challenged in the classroom. The school has tried on several occasions to get us to have him diagnosed, so that he can be medicated.

Turn Drive Time Into Learning Time For Your Kids — Without DVDs!

“We as parents do not have the problems the school claims to have with him, at home. We know how to deal with a rambunctious 7-year-old, but the school is content with making him believe that he is a bad child, we disagree.”

The controversy began when the parents were called to pick up Camden following an incident at school. Camden had been disruptive in class and had told a school counselor that he was upset because he felt that he was bad and he wanted to “erase himself from the earth.” The counselor asked how he would have done that, and he responded that he would have stabbed himself in the eye, Health Impact News reported.

Christian and Katie had a lengthy conversation with their son after they left school. They saw the incident different than the school saw it.

“Camden said that he did not want to hurt himself and just said that because he was upset and wanted to see what the counselor would say,” they told the website. “The school thought we should have taken him to the hospital emergency room for a mental health evaluation, but upon assessing the situation and speaking to him at home, it was clear to us that he posed no threat to himself and just said it to get a rise out of the counselor. He has never said anything about harming himself prior to this incident or after. This was one time, one day … most likely repeating something he heard somewhere.”

They added, “If we really believed that he would have really hurt himself, then we would have taken him to be assessed. They’ve blown this way out of proportion.”

Put God Back Into History With These Amazing Stories For Kids! Read More Here.

The next day, school officials phoned the couple to ask if they had taken him to the hospital. They also wanted to know the details of the couple’s conversation with the boy. When the parents refused to disclose what was said, the school contacted CPS, according to the parents.

Two weeks later, Christian and Katie learned that there was a court hearing “later that day” on March 3. The judge sided with the school and CPS, and police officers were sent to the home to assist in the boy’s removal. He remains in state custody.

The parents were ordered to get a psychological evaluation and drug and alcohol tests. The psychological tests came back normal. The drug and alcohol test results were clean.

“How can this be?” Katie asked. “How can CPS get away with ripping children from loving homes without just cause? … CPS should not have this much unchecked power.”

They added, “There is nothing to stop this from happening to anyone.”

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

Drugs and TEOTWAWKI = Crazy People?

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Drugs and TEOTWAWKI = Crazy People? I found a detailed article on drugs post SHTF, I had not thought about this much as myself and family members are not on anything that would be detrimental to our health, mentally and physically if SHTF. After reading this article it has made me think more about maybe …

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The post Drugs and TEOTWAWKI = Crazy People? appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

What’s In Your Emotional Backpack?

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What's In Your Emotional Backpack via The Survival Mom

All of us have dealt with a backpack at some point in our lives. Remember loading up that crisp new back pack in fall, with anticipation for another school year. Backpacks are used to pack up emergency supplies as demonstrated in this article, camping gear and they are even popular to use as a diaper bag.

One backpack we may not realize we carry is an emotional backpack. What is an emotional backpack? Picture yourself carrying around an invisible backpack, every day. Inside that backpack are all of your life’s experiences. Some of these items are positive and light, while others are negative and heavy. What is in your backpack and how heavy is it? This is a particularly important consideration when it comes to survival, since a big percentage of surviving is mental. This lesson really hits home in one of my favorite survival books, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why.

If you picture life as a long journey, your emotional backpack is right there, hanging off the back of your shoulders every day, no matter where you go. Your responsibility is to keep the backpack light enough for you to keep moving and progressing. Easy enough right? Not always so. We encounter personal setbacks, illness and death of loved ones, difficult co-workers, rude neighbors, unforeseen disasters and struggles in relationships. These things tend to weigh us down if we do not handle them when they happen, as my family did a number of years ago when we hit rock bottom. It seems easier to stuff them down in the backpack and worry about them later. This makes our packs heavy and our journey slow and miserable. We are not able to help ourselves or others if we are overloaded and miss out on the everyday joys of life.

To keep moving and be prepared for anything life throws at you, a light backpack is a must. Let’s look at what you should have in your emotional backpack.

  • A good support system. Friends, a spouse, family or pastor. Surround yourself with people that share the same values that you do. These people should be someone you can confide in when needed. Their advice would aligned with your beliefs and they would have your back in a crisis. If you have a hard time making and keeping friends, this book by one of my favorite psychologist authors, John Townsend, may help. Making close friends isn’t an easy thing for most adults.
  • Healthy habits. Getting proper sleep and nutrition keep your body and your mind running in top shape. Find an exercise or activity that you enjoy doing. Some examples could be nature walks, biking or yoga. This will clear your mind and give you energybut are also vital components of being a prepared person. Get as healthy as you can and as quickly as you can before any type of disaster strikes. By the way, a sound night’s sleep is a vastly under-appreciated component of being survival-ready.
  • Uplifting books and music. Have some reading that is positive, educational, and enjoyable — not just survival and prepper manuals! Reading can be a healthy escape from the stressors of life. Science has proven that music can alter our moods and brain activity. Upbeat music can give motivation and momentum, tranquil music can calm when anxiety creeps up and the simple act of singing will lower blood pressure, reduce pain and give a boost to the immune system.
  • Develop an attitude of hope, in all things. Life may not work out the way you wanted it to, but it will work out and will get better. Many find hope in God and through prayer. Go back to the basics of your belief. Lean on your faith. Look at the positive things working around you. Focus on what is going right and the opportunities that are around, then build your hope on that. One wise pastor said, “When nothing in your life is making sense, go back to what  you know for sure.” Is that the love of your husband or wife? The close relationship you have with a friend? The fact that God loves you? Whatever it is, go back to what you DO know for certain and spend time deeply appreciating those facts in order to get grounded so you can move on. Spiritual resiliency is a huge factor in who survives and who doesn’t.
  • Have hobbies. Whether it is cooking, crocheting, shooting or fishing. Discovery an activity that relaxes you and makes you feel a sense of accomplishment. Not only will you have a skill to lean on, but you can teach others. Invite family, friends to do the hobby with you or join a group that participates in the same activity. The Survival Mom Skill of the Month page will give you dozens of ideas, if you’re not sure where to start with choosing a hobby that is both fun and practical.

You cannot avoid heavy items in your backpack from past, deep hurts, rejection, and traumatic events. They are a fact of life and will be dropped into your backpack, sometimes when  you are least prepared for them. If you do not put them there, someone or something else will. The goal is to not let them stay there.

  • Take any heavy item you are dragging around and analyze it. What do you need to do to make this light? Some things we have control over, others we do not. Be careful to only invest emotion and time in something you have some control over. After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of families moved to other states. Many of these families embraced this move as an opportunity to go back to school, learn a new trade, create a new start or be closer to extended family. In one instance, a refugee from Katrina founded an incredibly successful business in Houston, his new home. They could not control the hurricane, they could control how they viewed their opportunities. Show kindness to those who offer help you. Teach your family to look and acknowledge the good that is around.
  • Accept and adapt. Be willing to take a look around at your new reality and just accept it for what it is. This is where you are now. How can you make the best of it? Survival Mom liked this saying so much that she created a t-shirt just to remind herself how to handle tough situations!
  • Bless and release. There will be people and situations that bog you down because of a past experience. In one case, a former friend suddenly cut off her contact with me. I never knew what had happened, reached out once or twice but got very curt responses. So, I played and replayed in my head what I wanted to say to her and how I would defend whatever it was that had caused the distance. After a few months, I decided enough was enough. I wrote a short email, wishing her the best and letting her know, nicely, that I was moving on, and guess what? She hasn’t crossed my mind since — until I was writing this article! We can bless and release those in our lives who bring nothing but negativityand pain. We no longer have to be the monkey in their circus.
  • Dumping a heavy item might require you to mend a relationship, apologize or forgive someone. The relationship may not be as it was, but you have done your part to make it better. Just forgiving a person, even if it just in your heart, is healing. Sometimes the heavy item that needs to get dumped is a person. Toxic and negative people can be one of the heaviest items you drag behind you. They have little regard to your emotions and their influence in your life. In fact, one author calls them “emotional vampires.” If a person is continually causing emotional turmoil, it may be time to decide if that person should be in your life.
  • Bad experiences. We have all laid in bed at the end of the day and played out in our mind what we would do or say differently, if given another chance. Unfortunately we cannot go back in time, but we can learn. To lighten your load, take tough experiences and make it your best teacher. Learn everything you can from trials and stumbling blocks. Journal about it, share what you learned with a close friend, glean as much knowledge as you can from the experience. Try to compare it to other times in life where you have been given a lesson and did not learn it the first time. It is so much easier to learn from the mistakes of others, but if you are going to make your own, and you will, you might as well learn all you can from it. The knowledge you gain will be beneficial in your future, and you can pass it on to your kids. Maybe they’ll listen!!
  • We are all subject to stress, it is the overwhelming stress that does us in. Learn how to recognize it when it shows itself. Note the physical reactions you have and pay attention to the thoughts that go through your mind. Some people carry stress in their lower backs, some in their necks, shoulders, or stomachs. Most daily stress can be worked off at the gym or by other means. It is the larger stressors and circumstances in life that require more effort. When the big stuff happens, you will need to rely on the positive items in your emotional backpack. They are what is going to get you through. Call a friend that you feel comfortable talking with or read about people that have gone through a similar circumstance. Have your backpack full of “tools” to help you deal with the big pressures of life.
  • Develop a list of personal priorities. Determine what is important to you. Picture yourself on your death bed. What would your thoughts be about? Who or what would you want to be surrounded by? That is your priority list! If something isn’t on your list, it is probably not that significant. This list is a guideline for your and where your priorities are. The items on the list are where you put your time and energy. Don’t spend your effort on things that don’t give enjoyment or benefit back to you.

Remember, this backpack is yours, not anyone else’s. Protect yourself by protecting your pack. Do not allow anyone else to dump their anger or nastiness into it. Handle issues when they first happen. Look to others for help if needed. As you travel through life, if you keep your backpack light and care for it, you will develop self-reliance and a resiliency that will help you with the heavy items that will certainly come along.

What's In Your Emotional Backpack via The Survival Mom

Are you mentally prepared?

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Are you mentally prepared? Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps” In this episode I will discuss the mentally prepared aspect of prepping, most of us do not put much thought into this if any at all. Most of us think that having food, water, weapons are all we need, but mental health in time of crisis … Continue reading Are you mentally prepared?

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Special Needs Preppers: Dealing With Mental Health Challenges

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Special Needs Preppers: Dealing With Mental Health Challenges via The Survival Mom

Individuals and families of all kinds flock to the prepper mindset for all kinds of reasons. Among millions of preppers are those with one type of challenge or another. Many of them are dealing with mental health issues, either their own or those of a loved one.

At the very basic level, there are two kinds of mental health issues: genetic and environmental. Depression, social anxiety, PTSD, and others often have their roots in life experiences (environmental), as well as possible genetic predisposition. Others, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are more purely genetic, and then there are issues such as autism, which may have roots in both. In these cases, medication is almost always part of the treatment and handling change is often a huge challenge.

It can be hard enough to keep those with mental health issues safe in every day life. Sometimes, their condition means they cannot recognize that running out in front of a moving car or jumping out of a second floor window is dangerous, or stop themselves even if they do know.

In a survival life or death situation,  you as their caregiver may be forced to make choices that you would never, ever make in the normal ups and downs of life.

You must be prepared to make those decisions, to accept the least-bad option, to keep everyone alive and safe. You may have to use one of those child-leashes  or a wrist-leash to ensure your loved one doesn’t run away, straight into a big puddle with a live electric wire in it, or worse. You may have to give them medication you usually avoid due to unpleasant side-effects. You may have to lie or trick them.

You may also need to give them a sedative if they really won’t leave a danger area or are endangering themselves or others. Moving an unhappy toddler is hard enough – forcing a full-grown man who is determined to stay is a whole ‘nother level of impossible! While it doesn’t work for everyone, Benadryl makes many people sleepy and could be very helpful at the right time, including mid-way through an evacuation. If you anticipate this type of situation, you should work out a strategy in advance with their doctor(s).

Think hard about your loved one and what you may need to do if your choices narrow down to forcing them to go / not go somewhere, or possibly having them or someone else die. In a wide-scale emergency, there won’t be enough trained, experienced professionals to be everywhere they are needed. You need to be prepared to handle your loved one without professional assistance. Preparing in advance will make this easier.

Note: In addition to the steps in this post, please read the forthcoming post on Special Needs: Physical and Medical Needs. Among other things, having enough medicine will be discussed.

Do this FIRST

Emergencies happen without advance notice. The number one thing you can do to help your loved one is to make a small card telling emergency care givers about their specific needs. Bonus points if you laminate it. (They sell ID pouches and protectors for laminators.) Remember that in a wide-scale disaster, the first responders you see may not be trained professionals. They could well be local CERT volunteers. CERT trains people in handling emergencies within the community but even trained, experienced professionals have difficulty handling mental illness. Err on the side of simple, clear instructions on this card.

For example, if first responders are warned that a person is autistic and flashing lights may set off a reaction, that may give them a small window to guide the person away before more emergency vehicles arrive. If there is specific music, pictures, a game – anything – that helps them calm down, list it. If it’s something they normally have with them (on their phone or tablet, for instance), include that.

They should keep this in their wallet or clipped onto their backpack or purse. In short, in or on something they have with them all the time. Adding an app with all their key information to their tablet or phone is another good step. This information will help anyone helping them. Make sure it’s easy to find and check it every six months or so to ensure the information is correct and up to date, and that the card hasn’t been misplaced or lost.

After my mother in law’s memory failures became critical, we added a sticker on the back of her cell phone with our contact information in case she got lost and couldn’t find her way home. My phone has an app with everyone’s basic medical information in case I am incapacitated or forced to evacuate in an emergency. These kind of simple steps can make life much easier in an emergency.

Practice and reduce the fear

When change is the enemy, familiarity is a friend. Practice makes things familiar. You need to have a designated meeting space for emergencies and in case you become separate in daily life, and you need to assign tasks for each person in an emergency and practice them. There is no way to prepare and practice for everything, but these two easy steps are appropriate for a lot of different, potential disasters.

Stop by your designated meeting space on regular days, or having your loved one go there and meet you (so they are comfortable going there alone) makes that task more familiar, more comfortable, and less fearful. The more you do it, the more comfortable, less fearful, and easier to remember it becomes. If a hurricane, tornado, or fire destroys your home, walking to the meeting spot may be a familiar activity that your loved one does just becausethey want to be in a place that is comfortable and familiar, IF you have practiced it regularly. If not, then you may find them walking around the house, stuck and unable to move on.

Practice your evacuation plan. Make certain each person understands their tasks. That may be taking their own bag and emergency supplies to the car and staying there, or it could be something more complex like a list of chores to finish. If they have chores that are part of their normal life, they can still do them in an emergency. If feeding the cat / dog and cleaning up after their poop is part of their tasks, they can be responsible for putting their food and doggy poop bags in the car. If they help carry the bags to the car when you go on vacation, they can help carry them out in an emergency because it is still the same task.

On the other hand, asking them to do something completely new amidst a chaotic and/or dangerous time is asking for confusion and delay, at a minimum. It could easily lead to a total meltdown. If you know a disaster will require them to do something outside of normal life, practice, practice, practice. You may need them to help cover windows with plywood. You can practice standing and holding the wood in place. Even if it feels silly on a day without a cloud in the sky, it could make a world of difference in an emergency.

Practice making 911 calls, going to a trusted neighbor’s house for help, and even knowing some basic first aid skills. In many cases, aging parents are caring for adult children with special needs, and those children should know what to do if suddenly mom or dad isn’t waking up or is injured.

Whatever the novel task is, if it’s important in an emergency, find a way to practice at least part of it in advance. Even getting used to the feeling of work gloves and the weight / texture of the wood may make a huge difference. Baby steps in advance can make a huge difference later.

Remain calm

Once something happens, or is clearly imminent, the media coverage starts, and most media coverage could stress out Ghandi himself. Let’s not even think about how the sensationalistic media coverage could impact someone for whom even minor changes are stressful! Do your whole family a favor and turn off the TV and radio. If you need an update, listen using headphones or check online, then close your browser windows.

Keeping calm is important. Try to remain as normal as possible. Talk about ‘the plan’ if something happens during normal life so that when you need to talk about it during an actual disaster, it is still “normal” and the conversation does not become a major stressor in and of itself. Don’t push stress levels higher by inviting the crisis-hungry media into your home.

To reiterate, keeping an even temper and demeanor are important. If you are calm, it is easier for your loved one to stay calm.

Everyday life

Benadryl, especially the rapidly-absorbed liquid kind, can be a life-saver, but it can also go bad quickly if left in a hot vehicle. Carry some with you, but be sure to rotate any food or medicine you keep in the car regularly. A small tub with play dough and a weighted blanket may also help when you run into the kind of irritations that barely register for a neurotypical family, such as stopped traffic or a flat tire.

Keep a small pill box with one dose of every pill they take with you, just in case you leave the house without taking them or can’t get back in time for the next dose. (Neurotypical or neuro-atypical, we’re all human and make mistakes.)

As mentioned earlier, set meet-up places near your home and anywhere else you spend a lot of time. If something happens and they have to run for their lives or simply get lost, this makes finding one another again faster and easier. Bonus points if you make a point of going to that spot on a regular basis.

Emergency room visits

In addition to the emergencies everyone else has to be prepared for, those with mentally ill family members may need to be prepared for unexpected emergency room stays. Being seen in the emergency room can take a while for any person, but for those who need a psych bed (or – rarer still – a pediatric pysch bed), those waits can be interminable.

Keep a small bag in your trunk with supplies for your loved one and yourself. Pajamas, toothbrush / toothpaste / dental floss, a small pillow (or at the very least, pillow case), comfort items, and a throw blanket for each of you make a good basic kit. Slippers or slipper-socks and an eyeshade for sleeping are nice little extras, as well. If you rely on electronic gadgets, a spare charger (or at least a cord) could be a lifesaver. Don’t forget some entertainment for both of you as well as a copy of medical records, preferably on a thumb drive for easy access and less bulk.

Final thoughts

Talk about possible emergencies in advance. Practice. Keep basic supplies in your car, and rotate food and medicine regularly before they go bad from the heat. Remain calm.

Truthfully, these are the same steps everyone else takes, but with someone who is not neurotypical, you need to be more disciplined and repeat them a whole lot more. So much more that they become ingrained, normal even. You need to prepare for your loved one as well as yourself since you can’t expect as much help from them in a crisis.

But, as in so much of life, the basics really are the same as they are for everyone else. Be prepared – for yourself and for them. Practice, and have them practice. And make sure there is clear, easy-to-find information to help others help your loved one if you are separated from them.

Case Study from Emergency Evacuations: Evacuating a special needs loved one

From Emergency Evacuations by Lisa Bedford:

Lorraine is a good friend of mine who has told me a bit about her family’s evacuation plans. They have given this a lot of thought, more than most people, because her younger sister, Kay, is an adult with Down syndrome. They know that Kay will have a very difficult time handling the intense stress that can be a part of an evacuation.

At 47 years old, Kay is a moderate functioning, independent minded woman. She lives in a small, rural town with her parents. They identified hurricane force storms and wildfires as their most likely foes and have planned accordingly.

Kay has been given a set of 5 specific instructions, along with the family’s code words, “Bug out!” She may not know exactly why they’re leaving or specifically where they’re going but she does know to do the following:

  1. Get her emergency kit.
  2. Gather her security items.
  3. Take those to the car.
  4. Return to the house to help Dad get into the car.
  5. Stay there with him.

Kay’s dad has mobility issues and will need extra help. This final task keeps her attention focused while Mom loads the car with everything else, secures the house, and gets ready to drive away.

As Lorraine explained this plan to me, she emphasized the need to carefully consider the needs, abilities, and temperament of the special needs person. In the case of her sister, there are many security, or comfort, items she’s attached to, but her parents have made it clear that she probably won’t be able to bring all of them. “She’d bring her whole bedroom if she could!” Lorraine joked. Kay tends toward obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which is something the family takes into consideration.

Several years ago I received an email from the worried mom of a young man who was significantly autistic. Like Kay, he was OCD but was the size of a grown man and impossible for his mom to physically handle when he became upset.

She said, “Lisa, I’m scared to death about a possible evacuation because there’s no way I can physically get him into my vehicle. When he becomes emotional, it’s impossible to do anything with him and he’ll actually fight against me.”

A situation like this poses a moral dilemma for parents and other loved ones, and there are no easy answers. Is it right to abandon the one they love and hope he or she survives so that the rest of the family can reach safety? Should one parent stay with the special needs family member while everyone else leaves?

The recommendation I gave to this worried mom is a decision that is ultimately between parent and the family physician. Consult with a doctor who knows your loved one well about a sedative that is as risk free as possible, yet effective, and keep several doses on hand. This is one of those “In case of emergency, break glass” solutions — something used rarely and only in the most extreme scenarios, a life or death situation.

As well, pay close attention to anything and everything that triggers extreme emotional reactions. In the case of Kay, her family has taught her simple, structured steps in a non-threatening, unemotional setting and they have rehearsed them with her. They know that her security items hold high value with her, so they have included those items as part of her evacuation routine.

Portions of this post are excerpts from Lisa Bedford’s book “Emergency Evacuations“.

Special Needs Preppers

Here are 7 sensational herbs for calming the mind

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Here are 7 sensational herbs for calming the mind

1. Passion flower is a beautiful vine that has mild sedative properties and can help calm the mind. All parts of all the plant except the root are used for the mind relaxing qualities. Usually brewed as a tea, taken as a tincture or in capsules. 2. Lotus Flowers are a beautiful way to increase […]

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